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2011 House Bill 1546: Authorizing creation of innovation schools and innovation zones in school districts
Introduced by Rep. Mark Hargrove (Covington) (R) on January 25, 2011
Allows a school district board of directors to authorize one or more innovation schools or innovation zones within the district. A school or a group of schools with similar characteristics may apply for such a designation. This act specifies criteria for application for a designation, sets out reporting requirements for schools or zones earning the designation, and allows school districts to seek an endorsement from the state Board of Education on behalf of designated schools. This act requires school districts to fund this program for their schools, which may include seeking of gifts, donations, and grants. This act prohibits the waiver of any requirements for federal funding in the development of innovative schools or programs. This act modifies labor laws for employees in designated and endorsed schools so that they are not subject to collective bargaining agreements. This act allows for waivers under certain state laws for endorsed schools. (Companion: SB 5792).   Official Text and Analysis.
Referred to the House Education Committee on January 25, 2011
Substitute offered in the House on February 17, 2011
Creates a review and approval process by the ESD and the OSPI for up to three Innovation Schools and Innovation Zones from each ESD. The original bill required waiver of a large number of state laws and rules for any state-endorsed innovation plan. The substitute bill authorizes a specified list of waivers and allows for identification of additional waivers to be forwarded to the Legislature by the OSPI. The substitute bill provides for two rounds of applications: a first round in 2012 that must be implemented without supplemental state funds, and a second round in 2013 where supplemental state funds may be requested. For the second round, the OSPI selects and forwards to the Legislature no more than 10 applications and provides grants if funds are appropriated. The original bill allowed staff in an Innovation School or Innovation Zone to opt out of collective bargaining agreements. The substitute bill allows a school district to agree to modify agreements if necessary to implement an innovation plan. The original bill did not limit the duration of an Innovation School or Innovation Zone. The substitute bill provides that both the first and second round of designations operate for six years, and that the bill expires June 30, 2021.
The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on February 17, 2011
Referred to the House Ways & Means Committee on February 17, 2011
Substitute offered in the House on February 25, 2011
Eliminates Phase II of the Innovation School and Innovation Zone application process, which included the opportunity to apply for state funded innovation grants, subject to appropriations. The second substitute bill also eliminates the School Innovation Account, and changes the expiration date of the legislation to June 30, 2019, rather than June 30, 2021.
The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on February 25, 2011
Referred to the House Rules Committee on February 25, 2011
Amendment offered by Rep. Mark Hargrove (Covington) (R) on March 7, 2011
To remove optional inclusion in innovation plans of proposals for a performance-based system of staff evaluation and compensation. Removes the authority for innovation schools and zones to request a waiver of the statewide salary schedule and salary lid compliance requirements.
The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on March 7, 2011
To direct the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish a process for school districts to apply to Educational Service Districts to designate Innovation Schools or groups of schools as Innovation Zones.
Received in the Senate on March 9, 2011
Referred to the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee on March 9, 2011
Amendment offered in the Senate on March 24, 2011
To clarify, the designation of innovation schools and zones is limited to those with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that use project-based or hands-on learning. In addition to collaborating with the educators, parents, and the community to develop the application, the school district must also collaborate with businesses and industries. The applications must be submitted to OSPI by January 6, 2012, instead of February 1, 2012. The application must identify educational expected improvements in the educational opportunity gap in addition to student achievement; and identify multiple measures to measure improvement in student achievement, closure of the educational opportunity gap, and the overall performance of the innovation school or zone, including but not limited to assessment scores, graduation rates, and dropout rates, among other things.
The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on March 24, 2011
Referred to the Senate Rules Committee on March 25, 2011
Received in the House on April 18, 2011
Failed by voice vote in the House on April 18, 2011
House refuses to concur with the Senate amendments and asks the Senate to recede from amendments.
Received in the Senate on April 20, 2011
Senate receded from amendments, but offers a new striking amendment to include the Arts along with STEM as a priority focus (A-STEM). The striker also allows ESDs to recommend not fewer than 2/3 A-STEM-focused plans and not more than 1/3 non-A-STEM-focused plan. The ESD that recommends up to 10 plans must recommend not fewer than half A-STEM plans and not more than half non-A-STEM plans.
Received in the House on April 21, 2011
House concurred with the Senate amendments.
Signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire on May 5, 2011
To include the Arts along with STEM as a priority focus (A-STEM). The bill also allows ESDs to recommend not fewer than 2/3 A-STEM-focused plans and not more than 1/3 non-A-STEM-focused plan. The ESD that recommends up to 10 plans must recommend not fewer than half A-STEM plans and not more than half non-A-STEM plans.

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