Bipartisan education bill strengthens student outcomes, supports teachers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJune 28, 2013CONTACT:Bobbi Cussins, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7252

Bipartisan education bill strengthens student outcomes, supports teachers

In the final days before the deadline to pass the state operating budget that focuses an additional $1 billion on K-12 education enhancements required under the McCleary state Supreme Court ruling, House Republican education leaders Reps. Cathy Dahlquist and Chad Magendanz were pleased to see a key measure to improve student outcomes pass the House with a bipartisan vote of 69-23. Senate Bill 5946 is a long-negotiated measure that updates the educational system to ensure the state meets the student and teacher performance goals expected by parents, regardless of where children attend school.

“This bipartisan bill is the product of collaboration with stakeholders and legislators that starts us down a path to improve student outcomes and better support teachers,” said Dahlquist, R-Enumclaw and lead Republican on the House Education Committee. “We worked very hard to make sure our approach was thoughtful and focused on lifting up our most at-risk students and  intervening when a child is not reading at grade level or has disciplinary problems at school. One of the best pieces is the additional flexibility with Learning Assistance Program, or LAP. If you ask a teacher or principal where the best dollars are spent, it is in LAP because it can be used to help students struggling the most. There is more we can and will do to improve the learning experience for all children and their teachers, but this is a bill that moves the needle on strengthening student outcomes.”

Dahlquist added that the teacher mentoring piece of the legislation will build a better structure to ensure every teacher entering the classroom is prepared to be successful and among our best and brightest.

“As a freshman legislator and former Issaquah School Board president, it was great to vote for legislation that truly represents a dramatic shift in how we approach education. Funding is essential, but we must also tie in meaningful reforms – literacy, disciplinary best practices and strong re-engagement efforts to get students back on track despite falling behind or having behavior issues,” said Magendanz, R-Issaquah and assistant lead Republican on the House Education Committee. “This bill is the first step in a long journey of ensuring our limited resources are put where they have maximum results.”

Senate Bill 5946 includes provisions that address:

  • third-grade reading proficiency and provides options for parents and teachers to bring students up to grade level literacy;
  • evidence-based policies by expanding the use of Learning Assistance Program (LAP) funds to address behavior problems in the classroom and allowing for additional flexibility by letting schools use 5 percent of LAP funding on community-based programs, such as dropout prevention efforts;
  • school discipline and student re-engagement efforts so that students can be brought back to school when appropriate in a positive and supportive environment;
  • Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) programs to mentor new teachers and prepare them for success in the classroom, with lowest performing schools being phased in first; and
  • Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) course clarifications to make sure student outcomes are the same regardless of whether a student participates in a brick-and-mortar learning environment or online class structure.

The bill will be sent back to the Senate for agreement on an amendment passed in the House. Once agreed upon, the bill will be forwarded to the governor for signature.

For more information about Rep. Dahlquist, visit:
For more information about Rep. Magendanz, visit:


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Washington State House Republican Communications
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P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
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Washington State House Republican Communications