Citizen Input Helps Kill Controversial WA Distance Learning Bill
Sometimes bills don't make it in Olympia and resurface the next legislative session. But in this case, at least for now, citizens are a direct reason why (in part) a controversial distance learning bill never made it.
SB (Senate Bill) 5735 dies in committee, no 'permanent' distance learning for now
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Manka Dhingra (Redmond) (D) on January 10th. In 'citizen-speak,' it would have allowed school districts to make distance learning a permanent part of children's K-12 education. From the bill summary:
"Allows school districts to provide up to 20 percent of the instructional hours per week using asynchronous instructional hours.
• Defines asynchronous instructional hours as time during the school day that students are provided the opportunity to engage in an educational activity under the direction of school staff, but that does not include two-way interactive communication.
• Requires public schools using asynchronous instructional hours to document the methods used to determine student interaction or participation.
• Allows private schools to use asynchronous instructional hours in meeting instructional hour requirements."
Coming off the horrific results of distance learning during the pandemic, parents, citizens, and students were in no mood for this kind of learning to continue.
8th District House Reps. Klippert and Bohenke report the bill died in Committee
We received some email updates from our House reps, reporting that the bill never made it out of committee, likely due in part to negative response from citizens. We also received another report that during the bill's hearing on January 19th it was not well received.
There will be no more action on this bill, and students will not have more distance learning 'forced' upon them by schools.