The WSCSS has evaluated several bills during this 2017 Legislative session that we would like to refer to our membership for consideration.  We have already contacted the Legislature regarding our positions but we encourage members to contact their legislators as well. The best way to contact your legislator is to find your legislator using the Legislature’s “District Finder”. Once you have found your representatives, we suggest that you call their offices. Email is a great way to contact your legislators, but recent news suggests that phone calls are far more effective. When you contact a legislator, please remember to:

 

  1. Let the staffer know that you are a constituent (tell them what county and city you are from).

  2. State the name of the bill or issue that you want to tell them about and the position that you want the elected official to consider.

  3. Mention that you are a teacher (or a supporter of the social studies) and that you are a part of the WSCSS. Informing the staffer that you are a teacher helps the WSCSS advocate for you in Olympia and lets the staffer know that you have professional experience that they may want to ask you about.

  4. Be brief. Legislative offices receive many phone calls during the day during the Legislative session.

  5. Let the WSCSS know if you would like us to follow up with a particular legislator or committee.

  6. If you do decide to send an email, here are the rosters for the House of Representatives and Senate.


Civic Education Public-Private Partnership

This session, the WSCSS has offered testimony on three bills. The first, 2SSB 5236 has already passed the Senate and is currently before the House Education Committee. This bill would create a 19-member Civic Learning Public-Private Partnership that would expand civics education K-12 and provide training opportunities to help teachers improve civics instruction. The WSCSS supports this bill and has been involved with the passage of this legislation since the beginning of the session.  The Board has chosen to endorse this bill because it:

  • Allows both public and private groups to work together to improve instruction

  • Provides training to teachers

  • Addresses the gaps in civics education across the elementary and secondary grade levels

 

The full text of the bill and supplemental materials can be found here.


Civics Graduation Requirement

The second bill that the WSCSS urges members to consider is House Bill 1706. HB 1706 would introduce a new civics test as a requirement for students to graduate from high school. In its current form, the bill would direct OSPI to select questions from the federal citizen naturalization civics exam and create a test that would be administered to high school seniors as a requirement to graduate. The WSCSS supports the civics testing requirement, but would like to see OSPI finish their work on the new Civics CBAs and use those assessments as the civics graduation requirement instead of another standardized test that would take away more instructional time.

 

The full text of the bill and supporting materials can be found here.


Civics Education Programs

The last bill that the Board has recommended to the membership is House Bill 1896. HB 1896 offers legislative support and an appropriation for OSPI to create an expanded Civics Education Program that would provide training and support for teachers in teaching civics. The WSCSS fully supports this effort as it would authorize OSPI to recruit teachers to help develop trainings and supports for other teachers. The WSCSS has offered its support to the Legislature should this bill be enacted into law.

 

The full text of the bill and supporting materials can be found here.

 

If you have any questions regarding the WSCSS Advocacy agenda, please contact the WSCSS at contactwscss@gmail.com