Several education bills sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest) were heard in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee Wednesday.
The legislation included:
- Senate Bill 6082 provides school districts with an additional allocation equal to $7 per hour plus benefits for all paraeducators hired in the 2022–23 school year. It also requires funding for paraeducator salaries under this bill to only be used for paraeducator salaries and sets a minimum staffing compliance ratio that ensures the additional funding does not inadvertently result in fewer paraeducators being hired.
- Senate Bill 6208 prohibits the banning of books or other instructional materials simply because they are related to the contributions of individuals or groups that are part of a protected class. It also requires school districts to create a formal process related to a parent’s request for removal of instructional materials and ensures that any decisions to limit access to materials only applies to the student or students of the parent who submitted the request and not to every student’s access to the materials.
- Senate Bill 6216 provides clarity around the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s role in coordinating state-level efforts to help schools better identify and connect students to vital behavioral health supports in both school and community settings. It directs OSPI to collaborate with key entities such as the Association of Educational Service Districts, the Health Care Authority, the Department of Health, and the Department of Children Youth and Families. This collaborative effort is designed to develop a comprehensive framework for coordinated student supports related to behavioral health.
“Education will always be a top priority of mine,” Nobles said. “By increasing compensation for paraeducators, prohibiting the banning of instructional materials, and enhancing schools’ capacity to identify and support students’ behavioral health needs, we are fostering an inclusive learning environment where every student has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.”