March 29, 2021

2021 Focus on Advocacy – March 29 Report

Budgets released, different approaches for K-12
Prepared by Marie Sullivan, WSPTA Legislative Consultant,

Last week the Senate and House Democrats released transportation, operating and capital budgets, starting with transportation on Monday; the House capital budget Wednesday evening; the Senate operating and capital budgets on Thursday; and the House operating budget on Friday. The Senate Ways & Means Committee began holding hearings immediately on both the capital and operating budgets, while the House Appropriations Committee held a public hearing Saturday. Both fiscal committees plan to vote their respective budgets out of committee this week and will possibly pass them off the floor by next weekend.

Senate and House operating and capital budgets rely heavily on the three rounds of federal funds to shore up big ticket items like housing and mental health assistance; investments in broadband infrastructure and connectivity; and, for K-12, in learning loss recovery and summer re-engagement activities; stabilizing the current school year budgets; and ensuring that all school districts have a base level of federal funding to support students after this crazy year of remote, hybrid, and in-person instruction.

Both budgets would add $24 million to extend transition supports for students with disabilities that turned 21 in the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school years and did not graduate with a regular diploma. They also both include $14.8 million for two days of ongoing paraeducator training reimbursement grants to school districts.

Read the full report here.

Keep up with the bills and committee hearings related to WSPTA member-generated legislative priorities and long-term positions by utilizing the bill status and upcoming events report.

Additional ways to stay connected:

  • Each week a new newsletter, “Focus on Advocacy,” will be sent each Monday to subscribers to keep you informed on what is happening during the legislative session and how it aligns with WSPTA priorities. To subscribe simply click on the “Update your Profile” link at the bottom of any newsletter to select this newsletter.
  • Subscribe to the Action Network to participate in timely action alerts through the session. As a bonus, subscribers to the Action Network receive the new “Focus on Advocacy” newsletter.
  • Advocacy questions can be directed to WSPTA Advocacy Director Sherry Rudolph.
Category: Advocacy , Legislative

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