Monday, January 18, 2021

Week 2 Virtual Olympia

Here is a look at hearings this week on bills that disability advocates might be interested in. Highlighted names indicate legislators who represent King County.

These represent just a few of the bills under consideration this week. For the full list, please check the daily agenda here. Please note the agendas can change at any time.

Public hearings are streamed on TVW. You can watch them live, or once they have been archived. This year, public testimony will also be remote. You MUST sign up in advance to testify.


MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021

House Children, Youth & Families committee; 1:30 pm

Video

Work Session: Hotel stays for youth involved with child welfare

HB 1061 - Concerning youth eligible for developmental disability services who are expected to exit the child welfare system

Sponsors: Senn, Dent, Leavitt, Wicks, Slatter, Wylie, Simmons, Kloba, Ortiz-Self, Gregerson, Callan, Young, Morgan, Frame, Santos, Rule, Davis

Comment on this bill

Our take: We support this bill; it is similar to one advocates supported last session. We are concerned, though, that foster youth with I/DD will exit to a DDA waiting list of 14,000. The state should prioritize eligible former foster youth for DDA waivers. The state should also move up the timeline to support foster youth in applications to DDA from age 17 to age 15, so more DDA candidates can take part in the bill's proposed shared planning meetings at age 16.

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Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education committee; 1:30 pm

Video not yet available

SB 5037 - Establishing transparent school opening metrics tied to COVID-19 prevalence

Sponsors: Braun, Mullet, Brown, Dozier, Holy, King, Schoesler, Wagoner, Wilson, L.

  • Directs school districts and charter schools to use certain metrics during COVID-19  to  determine  the  education  modality  for  the  schools  in  each  county.
  • Requires in-person learning in certain circumstances.
  • Requires the Secretary of Health, State Board of Health, and local health officers to act in accordance with the education modality requirements.
  • Prohibits emergency orders by the Governor from superseding, waiving, or suspending statutory and regulatory obligations concerning education modalities.

Comment on this bill

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SB 5147 - Exploring alternative school calendars

Sponsors: Hawkins, Wellman, Billig, Dhingra, Frockt, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Muzzall, Nobles, Rivers, Saldaña, Wilson, C. 

  • Directs  the  Office  of  the  Superintendent  of  Public  Instruction  (OSPI)  to  establish  a  program  to  allow up to 50 school districts to extend the number of instructional days in a school year to 210 days.
  • Directs OSPI to establish a program to allow up to 50 school districts to provide 180 instructional  days over the course of the entire calendar year.
  • Establishes that in order to participate in the programs, a school district must have an enrollment of over 500 students and a majority of students qualify for free and reduced price meals.
  • Requires OSPI to report on various program outcomes.

Comment on this bill

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Senate Health & Long Term Care committee; 1:30 pm

Video not yet available

Work Session: Health equity work in the public and private sectors


SB 5052 - Concerning the creation of health equity zones

Sponsors: Keiser, Randall, Cleveland, Conway, Das, Frockt, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Lovelett, Nguyen, Nobles, Robinson, Saldaña, Salomon, Wilson, C.

  • Requires the Department of Health to designate health equity zones based on health disparity  data and work with community groups to develop projects to address inequalities.

Comment on this bill

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SB 5056 - Concerning wilderness therapy programs

Sponsors: Salomon, Hunt, Cleveland, Das

  • Requires the Department of Health to create a business license for wilderness therapy programs.
  • Provides parameters for wilderness therapy programs.
  • Requires rulemaking for wilderness therapy programs to be completed by December 31, 2022.

Comment on this bill

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House Health Care & Wellness committee; 1:30 pm

Video ot yet available

HB 1086 - Creating the state office of behavioral health consumer advocacy

Sponsors: Simmons, Caldier, Bateman, Ortiz-Self, Shewmake, Ryu, Chopp, Cody, Goodman, Fey, Stonier, Macri, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Davis

  • Eliminates regional behavioral health ombuds services and establishes the State Office of Behavioral Health Consumer Advocacy (SOBHCA) to coordinate the activities of behavioral health advocates across the state.
  • Directs the SOBHCA to certify and coordinate the activities of behavioral health advocates throughout the state.
  • Requires Medicaid managed care organizations to contract with the SOBHCA to reimburse it for behavioral health consumer advocacy services provided to their enrollees.

Comment on this bill

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HB 1120 - Concerning state of emergency operations impacting long-term services and supports

Sponsors: Tharinger, Harris, Cody, Riccelli, Stonier, Macri

  • Changes requirements relating to background checks for long-term care workers.
  • Alters certain regulatory requirements relating to long-term care facilities in the event of a pandemic, natural disaster, or other declared state of emergency.
  • Allows registered nurses to delegate glucose monitoring and testing.
  • Changes supervision and evaluation requirements relating to the delegation of insulin injections by a registered nurse.
  • Changes licensing requirements for nursing assistants

Comment on this bill


TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2021

House Education committee; 8 am

HB 1121 - Concerning the emergency waiver of graduation requirements

Sponsors: Santos, Ybarra, Ortiz-Self, Gregerson, Paul, Stonier, Pollet, Bergquist, Harris-Talley

  • Authorizes the State Board of Education to permit public and private schools to grant individual student emergency waivers from credit and subject area graduation requirements, graduation pathway requirements, or both, due to a disruption from a local, state, or national emergency.

  • Makes students in the graduating class of 2020 and subsequent classes eligible for the emergency waiver program.

Comment on this bill

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House Civil Rights and Judiciary committee, 10 am

HB 1197 - Concerning health care decisions made by a designated person

Sponsors: Riccelli, Tharinger, Cody, Pollet, Harris-Talley

  • Allows a patient, while competent, to designate a health care proxy by informing certain health care providers, who would then be required to sign and enter the information into the patient’s health record

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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Senate Law & Justice committee; 10:30 am

SB 5066 - Concerning a peace officer's duty to intervene

Sponsors: Dhingra, Das, Darneille, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Mullet, Nguyen, Nobles, Pedersen, Saldaña, Salomon, Stanford, Wilson, C.

  • Requires a peace officer to intervene when the officer witnesses a fellow peace officer engaging in the use of excessive force.
  • Requires a peace officer who observes wrongdoing by a fellow officer to report the wrongdoing to the officer's supervisor.
  • Requires law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies on the duty to intervene and ensure that all law enforcement officers obtain training on the policy through the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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Senate Ways & Means committee; 4 pm

Work session:

  1. Tax Structure Work Group preliminary report.
  2. JLARC tax preference review.
  3. Presentation of the final Senate Committee on Economic Recovery report.

You should be able to find work session documents here

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2021

House Children, Youth & Families committee; 8 am

Work session: Racial disproportionality in child welfare. 

HB 1227 - Protecting the rights of families responding to allegations of abuse or neglect of a child. (Keeping Families Together Act)

Sponsors: Ortiz-Self, Callan, Senn, Dolan, Fitzgibbon, Ramos, Davis, Santos, Macri, Gregerson, Young, Ormsby

  • Intent (Bill report not yet available): It is the intent of the legislature to safely reduce the number of children in foster care and reduce racial bias in the system by applying a standard criteria for determining whether to remove a child from a parent when necessary to prevent imminent physical harm to the child due to child abuse or neglect.

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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Senate Housing & Local Government committee; 10:30 am

SB 5160 - Addressing landlord-tenant relations by providing certain tenant protections during and after public health emergencies, providing for legal representation in eviction cases, and authorizing landlord access to state rental assistance programs

Sponsors: Kuderer, Liias, Conway, Das, Lovelett, Saldaña, Wilson, C.

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record


THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2021

Senate Housing & Local Government committee; 8 am

SB 5139 - Limiting rent increases after expiration of the governor's eviction moratorium

Sponsors: Das, Lovelett, Darneille, Hunt, Liias, Nguyen, Wilson, C.

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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House Children, Youth & Families; 10 am

HB 1213 - Expanding accessible, affordable child care and early childhood development programs

Sponsors: Senn, Chopp, Ramos, Bateman, Sells, Shewmake, Lekanoff, Peterson, Stonier, Duerr, Fitzgibbon, Berry, Rule, Davis, Wicks, Fey, Callan, Dolan, Frame, Lovick, Chapman, Ryu, Santos, Thai, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Simmons, Slatter, Gregerson, Bergquist, Hackney, Valdez, Ramel, Riccelli, Macri, Goodman, Harris-Talley

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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House Education committee; 1:30 pm

HB 1085 - Promoting a safe learning environment for students with seizure disorders

Sponsors: Kloba, Vick, Volz, Leavitt, Ramel, Hoff, Graham, Chopp, Lovick, Stokesbary, Pollet

Comment on bill here

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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HB 1113 - Concerning school attendance

Sponsors: Ortiz-Self, Kloba, Pollet

Comment on bill here

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record


FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2021

Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education committee; 8:00 am

SB 5237 - Expanding accessible, affordable child care and early childhood development programs

Sponsors: Wilson, C., Dhingra, Das, Billig, Conway, Darneille, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Nguyen, Nobles, Pedersen, Saldaña, Salomon

Comment on bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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House Education committee; 10 am

HB 1162 - Concerning high school graduation credit and pathway options

Sponsors: Stonier, Harris, Lekanoff, Hackney, Pollet, Dolan, Callan

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

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HB 1295 - Providing public education to youth in or released from institutional education facilities

Sponsors: Callan, Eslick

Comment on this bill

Sign up for public testimony, provide written testimony, or note your position for the record

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Week 1 Virtual Olympia - a preview of the week ahead

On the agenda: Governor's budget bills; public safety/police operations; K-12 education - counseling and equity training

The state legislature convenes Monday, January 11. Here is a look at hearings and bills that disability advocates might be interested in. Highlighted names indicate legislators who represent King County.

These represent just a few of the bills under consideration this week. For the full list, please check the daily agenda here. Please note the agendas can change at any time. 

All hearings are streamed on TVW. You can watch them live, or once they have been archived. This year public testimony will also be remote. You MUST sign up in advance to testify.

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12

House Public Safety Committee; 8 am

HB 1054 - Establishing requirements for tactics and equipment used by peace officers.
Sponsors: Johnson, J., Entenman, Dolan, Ryu, Berry, Simmons, Bateman, Kloba, Lekanoff, Duerr, Fitzgibbon

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify, or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill

Our take: This bill does not specifically address disability, but people with disabilities are more likely to experience victimization, be arrested, be charged with a crime, and serve longer prison sentences once convicted, than those without disabilities. Individuals with developmental disabilities who also have other marginalized identities (e.g., people of color, members of indigenous communities, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+), are even more likely to get caught up in the system.

Research also suggests between a third to half of police killings involve people with disabilities, or who are experiencing episodes of mental illness

Learn more about The Arc's Disability in Criminal Justice initiative here

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Senate Ways and Means Committee; 3 pm

Hearings on the governor's proposed budgets:

SB 5092  - Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations. (Remote testimony.)

  1. K-12 public schools. (Remote testimony.)
  2. Higher education. (Remote testimony.)
  3. Early learning. (Remote testimony.)
  4. Employee compensation. (Remote testimony.)
  5. Mental health. (Remote testimony.)
  6. Human services. (Remote testimony.)
  7. Natural resources. (Remote testimony.)
  8. All other. (Remote testimony.)

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify, or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill

Governor recommendation summaries 

Human service proposals 

K-12 education proposals 

Revenue proposal

All proposals and charts

Our take/ DDA investment: As part of its budget process the governor's office asked state agencies to identify 15% in savings. The savings identified by DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration and Aging and Long-Term Supports Administration relied on changing eligibility for Medicaid long-term supports. Models they ran showed about 1 out of 3 DDA clients served in the community losing all support. Overall, about quarter of DDA clients getting services would lose them. This is partly due to the loss of the federal match dollars.

In the end, the governor did not include these cuts in his budget proposal. However, his proposal relies on the legislature passing a new capital gains tax. It is uncertain what his recommendations are if the legislature fails to pass such a tax. The governor did request some additional investments in DDA supports: 15 out-of-home placement slots for youth; increased capacity in the Children's Intensive In-Home Behavior Supports waiver; increased capacity on the Basic Plus waiver for students transitioning to employment supports. You can read his proposal for DDA here

Our take/ Special education: The governor does not include additional investment in special education to address compensatory education due to COVID-19. He does not address the cap on special education funding. He does recommend investing in internet access and counselors at high poverty schools. He also recommends expanded learning opportunities for general education students most in need of interventions; and he recommends funding for required paraeducator training.

The Arc of Washington's operating budget side by side (what is in the bills, and whether The Arc and other DD advocates support)

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SB 5083 - Concerning the capital budget. (Remote testimony.)

  1. K-12 public schools. (Remote testimony.)
  2. Higher education. (Remote testimony.)
  3. Human services. (Remote testimony.)
  4. Natural resources. (Remote testimony.)
  5. All other. (Remote testimony.)

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify, or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill

Our take: The governor's capitol plan does not address housing specific to people with developmental disabilities; it does include $120 million to design a large, congregate care nursing facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also includes $40 million to remodel segregated, adult training facilities at Fircrest, the large, congregate residential habilitation center in King County. There are about 120,000 people with developmental disabilities in Washington; Fircrest serves about 200.

The governor proposes a $1.02 billion investment in the housing trust fund, which would fund projects for low-income families and individuals but not necessarily address the unique needs of the developmental disabilities community for community-based, supportive options.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13

Senate Early Learning and & K-12 Education Committee, 10:30 am

SB 5030 - Developing comprehensive school counseling programs.
Sponsors: Mullet, Wellman

Bill summary: Requires  school  districts  to  develop  and  implement  a  written  plan  for  a  comprehensive school counseling program by the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. Requires school counselors to  implement the plan and spend at least 80 percent of their work time providing direct and indirect  services  to  students.

Comment on this bill  (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill

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SB 5044 - Concerning professional learning, equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system.
Sponsors: Das, Wellman

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill

Our take: This proposal goes beyond the usual call for teacher professional development and also calls out training for school board members and school district superintendents. While its primary focus is racial bias, training calls out inclusion and intersectional identities (disability, sexuality, gender). 

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Senate Ways and Means, 4 pm

5096 - Concerning an excise tax on gains from the sale or exchange of certain capital assets
Sponsor: Robinson (at request of the Office of Financial Management)

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill 

Capital gains tax Q&A (prepared by the Department of Revenue)

Governor's policy and budget highlights (see page 63)

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Thursday, January 14

House Capital Budget Committee, 8 am

HB 1080 - Concerning the capital budget

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill 

Our take: The governor's capitol plan does not address housing specific to people with developmental disabilities; it does include $112 million to design a large, congregate care nursing facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also includes $40 million to remodel segregated, adult training facilities at Fircrest, the large, congregate residential habilitation center in King County. There are about 120,000 people with developmental disabilities in Washington; Fircrest serves about 200.

The governor proposes a $1.02 billion investment in the housing trust fund, which would fund projects for low-income families and individuals but not necessarily address the unique needs of the developmental disabilities community for community-based, supportive options.

The Arc of Washington's capital budget side by side (what is in the bills, and whether The Arc and other DD advocates support)

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House Public Safety Committee; 1:30 pm

HB 1089 - Concerning compliance audits of requirements relating to peace officers and law enforcement agencies.
Sponsors: Ramos, Goodman, Leavitt

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill

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HB 1092 - Concerning law enforcement data collection.
Sponsors: Lovick, Goodman, Berry, Leavitt, Fitzgibbon, Johnson, J.

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill 

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House Appropriations; 3:30 pm

HB 1094 - Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations. (Governor's proposal)

Comment on this bill (Comments go to your legislators)

Sign up to testify or submit position for the record. Testimony can be live or written. Testimony goes to the committee members hearing the bill

Governor recommendation summaries 

Human service proposals 

K-12 education proposals 

Revenue proposal

All proposals and charts

Our take/ DDA investment: As part of its budget process the governor's office asked state agencies to identify 15% in savings. The savings identified by DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration and Aging and Long-Term Supports Administration relied on changing eligibility for Medicaid long-term supports. Models they ran showed about 1 out of 3 DDA clients served in the community losing all support. Overall, about quarter of DDA clients getting services would lose them. This is partly due to the loss of the federal match dollars.

In the end, the governor did not include these cuts in his budget proposal. However, his proposal relies on the legislature passing a new capital gains tax. It is uncertain what his recommendations are if the legislature fails to pass such a tax. The governor did request some additional investments in DDA supports: 15 out-of-home placement slots for youth; increased capacity in the Children's Intensive In-Home Behavior Supports waiver; increased capacity on the Basic Plus waiver for students transitioning to employment supports. You can read his proposal for DDA here

Our take/ Special education: The governor does not include additional investment in special education to address compensatory education due to COVID-19. He does not address the cap on special education funding. He does recommend investing in internet access and counselors at high poverty schools. He also recommends expanded learning opportunities for general education students most in need of interventions; and he recommends funding for required paraeducator training.

The Arc of Washington's operating budget side by side (what is in the bills, and whether The Arc and other DD advocates support)

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

You can help make special education easier to navigate

Young boy laughing, with paint on his hands

Changes affect parent participation, early learning, navigating IEPs and services, universal design for learning, restraint and isolation, discipline and removal of students, and more!

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Hearings January 13 and 20. Comments can also be emailed, or called in

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Ever wish you could influence the rules that govern special education?

Over the next two weeks, you have an opportunity to weigh in on proposals to improve them in Washington state.

Recent proposed changes to the Washington Administrative Code touch on early learning, parent participation, transition plans, and more. You can read an overview here.

Written or phone comments must be submitted by January 20. Public hearings are scheduled for January 13 at 3:30 pm, and January 20 at 9 am. This is an important opportunity to share how you experience special education.

Send in comments by January 20:

  • Email Glenna Gallo, Glenna.gallo@k12.wa.us and speced@k12.wa.us (please include “Rules” in email subject line), or
  • Mail to OSPI, Attn: Glenna Gallo, PO Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504, or
  • Fax to 360-586-0247
  • Comments can also be submitted by phone, 360-725-6075; TTY: 360-664-3631

 

Better rules, easier navigation

Last year, the state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) offered stakeholders an opportunity to share what they would like to see changed in special education WACs. Areas that advocates weighed in on included parent participation; special education preschool; eligibility for services; restraints and isolation; and disproportionality. Many suggestions focused on challenges families experience securing services, and ways to curb disproportionate discipline or other removals.

OSPI took the comments and proposed changes. Some of the stakeholder requests made it in; others did not. You can read a summary of comments here, along with OSPI’s responses.

WACs are rules that agencies adopt and follow to implement laws passed by the legislature. In the case of special education, they explain to school staff what they must do to be legally compliant; they also explain to families, students, and other community members how the system works and what to expect. Well written WACs clarify responsibilities and help ensure the underlying policies and civil rights are upheld. WACs must align with intent of legislation.

State agencies get to write and approve WACs for services they administer or supervise, but they must publish proposals and host a public comment period.

Below, we spotlight proposed changes that may be of interest to families in the areas of parent participation, early learning, navigating IEPs and services, universal design for learning, restraint and isolation, and discipline and removal of students.

If you choose to comment: Say who you are and what your concern is; whether the proposed change meets that concern; and what you would like OSPI to do. Sharing a personal story will have impact and help OSPI better understand how families and students are experiencing special education. This is a public hearing, however, so comments will become part of the public record.

PARENT PARTICIPATION - PROPOSED CHANGES

Access to information

WAC 392-172A-03100 - Parent participation. (3)(c) Include whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the notification being provided, including providing the notification in writing in a parent's native language when necessary for the parent's understanding and arranging for an interpreter for parents who are deaf or hard of hearing or whose native language is other than English

Consent

WAC 392-172A-03100 - Parent participation. (4)(b) Identify any other agency that may be responsible for providing or paying for transition services and request consent as defined in WAC 392-172A-01040 from the parent/adult student to invite a representative from the outside agency to the IEP meeting.

Language access

WAC 392-172A-03100 - Parent participation. (7)(b) Documenting the language in which families prefer to communicate and whether a qualified interpreter for the student's family was provided in accordance with RCW 28A.155.230

WAC 392-172A-05001 - Parent participation in meetings (4) Each school district must document the language in which families prefer to communicate and whether a qualified interpreter for the student's family was provided at any meeting under this section, including meetings related to a student's IEP, school discipline, and truancy, in accordance with RCW 28A.155.230.

Observation of placement

WAC 392-172A-05001 Parent participation in meetings. (2)(e) A parent of a student eligible for special education services may request permission to observe their student's current educational placement, and to observe any educational placement proposed or under consideration either by a parent or a group that makes decisions on the educational placement of the parent's child, in accordance with applicable school district policy and state law.

Meeting recording

WAC 392-172A-05001 - Parent participation in meetings. (5) A parent may request consent to record meetings under this section, in accordance with applicable school district policies and state law. Any recording that is maintained by the school district is an "education record" within the meaning under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 34 C.F.R. Part 99

Summary of early comments: Advocates sought stronger protections of parents right to participate, including requiring districts to provide written materials for meetings ahead of time - including the IEP - so parents have time to read, process and prepare for the meeting as an equal member. Advocates also sought a requirement that districts arrange for reasonable accommodations for parents with disabilities ahead of time, or for parents requiring language support. And while proposed rule revisions note parents may request a recording, and may ask to observe classroom settings, advocates noted that parents are already making these requests and are being denied; advocates asked for regulations to prohibit unreasonable denial.

 

EARLY LEARNING (AGES 3 TO 5) - PROPOSED CHANGES

Define “regular early childhood program”

WAC 392-172A-01152 - Regular early childhood program. “Regular early childhood program means a program that includes at least fifty percent nondisabled children (i.e., children who do not have an IEP). Programs may include, but are not limited to, the following: Head start; early childhood education and assistance program (ECEAP); kindergarten; preschool classes offered to an eligible prekindergarten population by the public school system; private kindergartens or pre-schools; group child development centers; or child care.”

Clarification on LRE in preschool

WAC 392-172A-02050 – Least restricted environment. “(3) The public agency responsible for providing FAPE to a preschool child with a disability must ensure that FAPE is provided in the least restrictive environment where the child's unique needs (as described in the child's IEP) can be met, regardless of whether the local education agency operates public preschool programs for children without disabilities.

(4) For children ages three to five, a general education environment is a regular early childhood program.

Continuum of alternative placements in preschool listed

WAC 392-172A-02055 – (3) The continuum of alternative placements a public agency providing special education and related services to a preschool child with a disability may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Providing opportunities for the participation of preschool children with disabilities in preschool programs operated by public agencies other than school districts (such as head start or community-based child care);

(b) Enrolling preschool children with disabilities in private preschool programs for nondisabled preschool children;

(c) Locating classes for preschool children with disabilities in regular public elementary schools; and

(d) Providing services and instruction in the home.

(4) If a public agency determines that placement in a private preschool program is necessary for a child with a disability to receive FAPE, the public agency must make that program available at no cost to the parent.

Transition from 0-3 supports to preschool

WAC 392-172A-02080 - Transition of children from the Part C pro-gram to preschool programs.

(2) (b)Within fifteen school days following the transition planning conference, a determination whether or not to evaluate the student for Part B will be made. The district will provide prior written notice of the  decision  that  complies  with  the  requirements  of  WAC 392-172A-05010.

Summary of early comments: Proposed changes align with advocates’ requests. Washington state is one of the most segregated when it comes to disability segregation, starting with preschool. Many families report they were only offered segregated settings and no option was discussed for placement in a regular early childhood program, with supports. Additions to the WAC align with federal law and guidance sent to states in 2015 and again in 2017.


NAVIGATING IEPS AND SERVICES - PROPOSED CHANGES

Service eligibility clarification

WAC 392-172A-01035 - Child with a disability or student eligible for special education services. (1)(e) Special education services may not be solely based on the disability category for which the student is eligible

Language access

WAC 392-172A-03005 - Referral and timelines for initial evaluations. (1)(c) Each school district must have a referral form for requesting an initial evaluation available to the general public and provide it upon receipt of an oral or written request in the requestor's native language or with the support of a qualified interpreter when needed.

Alternate assessments

(1)(b)(B)(ii) For students who take alternate assessments aligned to al-ternate achievement standards, a description of benchmarks or short-term objectives for the areas in which the alternate assessment will be administered; and

(1)(b)(B)(iii )Documentation that the parent(s)were informed, as part of the IEP process, that their student's academic achievement will be measured on alternate standards and how participation in an alternate assessment may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma.

Transition plan alignment

(1)(k)(iii) A description of how the postsecondary goals and transition services align with the high school and beyond plan.

Summary of early comments: Some requests made it into the proposals. Others asked for more to be done round timelines for referrals, evaluations, and reevaluation to make sure students could access needed supports without undue delay. Advocates also asked for clarifying language around independent evaluations; there was concern districts were inappropriately controlling scope and access.


UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING - PROPOSED CHANGES

New section, defining UDL

WAC 392-172A-01197 - Universal design for learning. Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all students based on research showing how students learn. The goal of UDL is to use a variety of teaching methods to remove and reduce barriers to learning and provide each student with opportunities to be successful through instructional flexibility that can be adjusted.

Summary of early comments: Advocates appreciated the addition of UDL, but also sought ways to incentivize it. As COVID-19 has shown, implementing UDL is necessary for access for students with disabilities.

 

RESTRAINT AND ISOLATION - PROPOSED CHANGES

Addition to prohibited practices:

WAC 392-172A-02076 - Prohibited practice. (2)(j) Prone, supine, and wall restraints. A student must not be subjected to the use of prone (lying face-down) and supine (lying face-up) restraint, wall restraint, or any restraint that interferes with the student's breathing.

Trauma-informed intervention:

WAC 392-172A-02105 - Emergency response protocols. (1)(d) Any staff member or other adults using isolation, restraint, or a restraint device must be trained and certified by a qualified provider in the use of trauma-informed crisis intervention (including de-escalation techniques) and the safe use of isolation, restraint, or a restraint device.

WAC 392-172A-02110 - Isolation or restraint. Conditions. (1)(f) Any staff member or other adults using isolation must be trained and certified by a qualified provider in the use of trauma-informed crisis intervention (including de-escalation techniques), and also trained by the district in isolation requirements, or otherwise available in the case of an emergency when trained personnel are not immediately available due to the unforeseeable nature of the emergency.

(2)(c) Any staff member or other adults using a restraint must be trained and certified by a qualified provider in the use of trauma-informed crisis intervention (including de-escalation techniques) and such restraints, or otherwise available in the case of an emergency when trained personnel are not immediately available due to the un-foreseeable nature of the emergency.

Summary of early comments: Improper use of restraint and isolation, failure to capture data around its use in private placements, and disproportionate use on students of color were all raised in early comments. While some of the requests made it into the proposed changes, in general advocates asked for more work to be done to safeguard students and end harmful and at times deadly practices.

 

DISCIPLINE/REMOVAL OF STUDENTS - PROPOSED CHANGES

WAC 392-172A-07010 Monitoring. (2) Procedures for monitoring school districts and other public agencies may include any or all of the following: … (iii) Racial and ethnic disproportionality with regard to the identification, placement, or discipline of students receiving special education services.

WAC 392-172A-07040 - Significant disproportionality. (2)(a) Require the school district to review and, if appropriate, revise the policies, procedures, and practices used in the identification, placement, or discipline of students receiving special education services to ensure that the policies, procedures, and practices comply with the requirements of the act

Summary of early comments: Advocates also sought additional disaggregation of data to better understand intersectional issues of disability (in both special education and 504 settings), English language learners, and students of different races and ethnicity.

 

Remember, if you choose to engage: Comments are due by January 20. If you send in via email, be sure to add "Rules" in the subject line.

 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

King County finalizes legislative priorities for developmental disabilities

Don't change eligibility - protect DDA services and language access

Invest in employment and housing


King County and its Board for Developmental Disabilities, a citizen's advisory board that provides oversight of DD community services, have finalized the county's 2021 legislative priorities for developmental disabilities.

Preserve and Protect the Safety Net for Individuals with Disabilities Across Their Lifespan

Recommended Actions:

  • Maintain current eligibility criteria for state Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) paid services to ensure people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) continue to access Medicaid State Plan and Waiver services including employment, community inclusion, respite, personal care, and residential services.

  • Maintain interpreter services provided by the State Health Care Authority, including video interpretation services to ensure effective delivery of essential services.

Invest in Employment and Housing for People with Disabilities to Support Economic Recovery

Recommended Actions:

  • Protect employment funding and ensure all state DDA eligible students leaving high school in 2021-2023 are added to the Basic Plus Waiver in order to receive employment and other needed services.

  • Increase the supply of affordable housing, including housing for individuals with I/DD and their families, through investments that include $250 million for the Housing Trust Fund.

The Arc of King County and representatives from its Community Change Champions and King County Parent and Family Coalition joined other community volunteers on the DD board's legislative committee to discuss and offer input on these priorities. 

The county will share and discuss them with state legislators representing parts of King County at a legislative forum on Monday, November 23. The public is invited to attend! It will be presented online, with interpretation support.