Once called the Superintendent Schools bill, Senate Bill 5329 has been rewritten and could be sent to the desk of Gov. Jay Inlsee sometime after Wednesday’s bill cutoff.
The bill seeks to deal with schools and school districts that continue to perform poorly and are resistant to attempts to improve.
Initially the bill, which was a centerpiece of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus education reform package, would have directed the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to take over and run persistently failing schools. It was seen as the final hammer to get struggling schools to implement restructuring and reform to improve performance of students.
The education community, however, rallied against it.
Now, a new version has emerged from talks between House and Senate education leaders, the SPI and the state board of education. The provisions mirror criteria for “school turnaround” laid out by Inlsee last week in his Education Accountability Vision (see below).
After passing the House Monday, 68-29 which strong bipartisan support, the bill will return to the Senate. If senators simply concur in the striking amendment that contains the deal, it will head to Inslee whose spokesman David Postman said: “The governor supports it and our office worked with members on the compromise.”
UPDATE: A spokesman for Litzow confirmed this afternoon that the Majority Coalition Caucus position is to concur in the House amendments. That means the Senate won’t seek to amend it again and their agreement will move the bill to the governor.
The process described in the bill would come at the end of existing federal and state school improvement efforts that require struggling schools to pick one of four school transformation models including replacing school leadership, replacing up to half the faculty or closing schools.
Only schools that still do not show improvement for students would face the consequences set up in SB 5329. But unlike earlier versions, the SPI wouldn’t take over a school but could order a district to implement an improvement plan.
Here is what it does, based on the House Bill report: Read more »