We envision an education system where every student thrives in a learning-friendly environment where they feel safe, supported, and challenged. The following legislative priorities will help to ensure access and equity:

Meaningful family engagement and partnership

Authentic partnership with families and communities is the foundation of all equitable and inclusive school communities. It is important that schools create the conditions for collaboration so that families feel they are able to work with school staff and not against them. In order for families to be a meaningful part of an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team and school community, schools must do more to prioritize accessibility, cultural responsiveness, and trust-based relationships with families.

2022 Action Priorities:

  • Ensure families have access to qualified interpreters in their home language and translated materials to enable meaningful family engagement and two-way communication with school staff.
  • Ensure timely accommodations and support for families during the IEP meeting process to ensure students can access their education, including sending IEP materials well in advance of meetings, allowing recordings of meetings, and ensuring that content is clear and understandable to all before critical decision points.
  • Support school staff with training and resources so that they are equipped to approach family engagement intentionally with inclusive and culturally responsive practices, as well as do work to combat ableism and racism built into our school systems and cultures.

Professional development, training, and technical assistance for school staff

Inclusive schools require strategy and a shift in culture. Knowledge, understanding, and commitment are needed by each staff member and administrator, as are sufficient resources for collaboration and support. Not all districts and schools are equipped equitably. Students with disabilities, and especially those from multicultural families, need school staff to have access to meaningful training and support to build accessible, inclusive schools.

2022 Action Priorities:

  • Provide and promote pre-service teacher training and certification as well as ongoing technical assistance around inclusive practices and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) so that educators can better understand, accommodate, and support all kinds of learners and thinkers.
  • Resource and support diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion, and anti-racist trainings and other opportunities for school staff to learn, support, and be responsive to the cultures and experiences of Washington students. Support efforts to update the teacher and principal evaluation to be responsive to cultural and other diversity among students.

Supporting the mental health, behavior supports, and social-emotional learning needs of students

To meaningfully engage students in learning we must first support their social-emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. Students receiving special education services and students with disabilities are too often made to feel isolated and like they don’t belong while at school. Moreover, as we continue to navigate the impacts of the pandemic, we must ensure our education system is taking steps to support students with disabilities as they re-engage in learning, especially Black, Indigenous, and other students of color who have been most impacted through the pandemic.

2022 Action Priorities:

  • Provide students and staff access to the mental health supports and services they need to access their education and be well, including access to counselors, behavior supports, trauma-informed and culturally responsive de-escalation training, and technical assistance.
  • Direct the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop a list of vetted curriculum options for trauma-informed, de-escalation training.
  • Provide meaningful access to and training for functional behavioral assessments and supports.
  • Establish structures and supports for districts and schools to create positive school and classroom climates where all students and families feel they are welcomed, cared about, and belong.

Establishing funding structures centered on student need

To create an education system that values and supports all students we must establish funding structures that are rooted in equity and designed to address barriers that marginalize students. We must work towards a funding system that is centered on what different students need to access their education.

2022 Action Priorities:

  • Ensure schools have sufficient resources to meet access and learning needs for Washington’s diverse K-12 students.
  • Remove the funded enrollment cap for special education to better enable districts to provide the supports and services identified in a student’s IEP.

 

2022 Legislative Platform (PDF)

2022 Plataforma Legislativa (PDF)

 

Read our Report Back to Community: Progress Highlights from the 2022 Legislative Session

 

Read our 2022 Operating Supplemental Budget Special Education Highlights

Read our 2021-2023 Operating Budget Special Education Highlights

Lea nuestro Presupuesto operativo 2021-2023 Aspectos destacados de educación especial