Though there were numerous school safety bills introduced at the outset of the session (from arming school employees to notifying private schools when there is a nearby threat), only a couple of them are still alive.
A comprehensive approach, HB 1216, easily passed the House 83-14 because it addresses many common sense solutions to school safety (though none of the solutions are dramatic). Here’s what it does:
…Requires each educational service district to establish a Regional School Safety Center with certain duties, subject to state funding.
…Requires school districts to establish a School-Based Threat Assessment Program that meets certain requirements, by the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.
…Codifies the School Safety Center and the School Safety and Student Wellbeing Advisory Committee, and makes the duties subject to state funding.
…Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to monitor certain safety-related programs and plans, subject to state funding.
…Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to complete a study on the first responder mapping information system by January 31, 2020.
…Adds a representative of the OSPI to the Emergency Management Council (EMC) and directs the EMC to consult with certain organizations on issues that involve early learning, kindergarten through grade 12, or higher education.
…Adds safe school plan and school safety drill requirements.
SB 5514 – inform all schools in the vicinity, including private schools, of a nearby threat (passed the Senate unanimously).