Senate committee hears school flexibility measure

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CONTACT: Kurt Hammond, Senior Public Information Officer | 360-786-7794

Senate committee hears school flexibility measure

A measure to allow school districts to establish time spent in classroom based on hours rather than days was heard Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12 Education. Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, the bill's sponsor in place of former Rep. Dan Newhouse, testified to the importance of the legislation.

“This is one idea coming from the state that gives schools some breathing room, rather than adding more mandates,” Chandler said. “Schools need flexibility to adjust for their geographic, demographic and economic needs. We cannot sacrifice educational standards for conformity.”

House Bill 1292, amended from its original version, would create a pilot program allowing certain schools to waive the 180-day requirement. Up to five districts serving less than 500 students are eligible to participate in the pilot program. Schools would still be required to teach the same number of instructional hours as a 180-day schedule.

Lyle School District Superintendent Martin Huffman and Bickleton School District Superintendent Ric Palmer, who could apply for the pilot program, testified in favor of the bill when it was heard in the House. They said the proposal would give school districts more local control and the ability to provide substantial education.

Chandler has spoken with Senate members to keep the proposal moving forward.

The House of Representatives passed the measure 87-10, March 10. The bill now awaits a vote in committee before it can be considered on the Senate floor.

For more information, contact:  Sarah Lamb, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7720


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