From Mary Griffin of the Seattle Special Ed PTA:
SHB 2605 is a step backwards in Washington state’s efforts to make our
education system more transparent and accessible for parents. That’s
because this bill will make it harder, not easier, for parents to know
and understand school district policies regarding restraint and
isolation of students with disabilities.
Right now, for students
with IEPs and 504 plans, districts must provide parents with a written
copy of their seclusion and restraint guidelines. This is a smart policy
because it helps parents understand up front the limited circumstances
under which seclusion or restraint may be used with their children. Yet
under SHB 2605, school districts would only be required to share that
information on their website; if parents wanted a copy or an
explanation, they would have to ask for it. Common sense tells us it’s
impossible to ask about a policy you don’t know exists, and yet that is
precisely what SHB 2605 requires of parents. The policy would only be discussed or provided to
parents after a triggering event, or if the parent asked for it.
In sum, tucking
seclusion and restraint policies away on a school district website is
not a policy designed to help parents gain more information – it is a
policy that will mostly keep parents in the dark.
inappropriate use of seclusion and restraints in schools is an issue
that has warranted national attention. Just last week the U.S. Senate
released a report detailing how families have limited recourse when
seclusion and restraint are misused at school. The report
also addressed how districts often failed to inform families that
seclusion and restraints could be used at their child’s school.
And here is a link to the bill w/ all the background info
Also to note, the "Breakfast after the bell" bill, SHB2536, which
encourages expanded opportunities for poverty level students to
participate in the free breakfast program in many public schools, moved forward in the House.
"HB 2536 establishes a three-year, phased-in process for providing
breakfast. The bill provides schools with technical assistance through
dedicated staff within the office of the superintendent of public
instruction to successfully implement the model, as well as assistance
through local public-private partnerships between the office of the
superintendent of public instruction and nonprofit organizations
knowledgeable about hunger and food security issues."
Only one-third of Washington State children eligible for a free breakfast access it. Reasons may be stigma and/or losing out on study/socialization time before school starts. With Breakfast after the Bell, breakfast is after the bell for about 15 minutes.
eventually signed into law, Districts with "high needs" schools and
plagued by low graduation rates will be encouraged (and eventually
mandated) to employ the nutrition element as an additional tool in
working toward raising student achievement.
Let your Senator/Reps know your thoughts on these bills via Legislative Hotline 1-800-562-6000 or click on the Find Your Legislator link.