If you’ve been following our social media, you’ll know we’ve been tracking SB5044 concerning anti-racist professional development. It has passed the Senate and must pass the House by March 26th. We can use the time between now and then to influence important changes to the language of this bill.

May be an image of text that says 'COMMUNITY ACTIONUPDATE Senate Bill 5044 racist professional development members staff SB 5044 has passed the Senate and now House Committee on Education. SB 5044 anti-racist professional development. WAESN callingfor community amendments, upcoming opportunities. WASHINGTON ETHNIC STUDIES] SB 5044'

The WAESN Legislative Subcommittee has read through the bill and has the following concerns/talking points about this bill.

  • Needs a mandate for PD, not just a list of providers.
  • How do we measure the “ongoing” PD? Need an observable metric, like requirements for clock hours/recertification.
  • Needs minimum time/credit/clock hour measurements.
May be an image of text that says 'COMMUNITY ACTIONUPDATE SUPPORT 5044, but demand more accountability! Talking_points: We need this legislation to hold the education system accountable to mandating anti-racist professional development. This includes mandating minimum time/credit/clock hours dedicated to anti-racist professional development for recertification. The approved list of providers created by PESB, EOGOAC, and OSPI must be BIPOC owned and operated. WASHINGTON ETHNIC STUDIES] SB 5044'

The sponsor for this bill is Senator Mona Das. Contact her office and let her know we are grateful for this step, but it misses the mark.
The next opportunity to provide public testimony is Tuesday, March 23rd at 8am. Registration for testimony is not yet open, but watch our social media channels for instructions. In the meantime, you can help WAESN hold members of this group accountable for authentic, community driven anti-racism in K-12 education by clicking on the petition below, calling the legislation hotline: 1-800-562-6000 and leaving a message for your legislator, and preparing written testimony to submit once testimony registration has opened.

Signing the petition sends an email to all members of the House Education Committee that reads:

I am writing you today in support of SB5044 and in appreciation of the work Senator Das has done to push this important bill forward. This piece of legislation is long overdue. Students of Color have been harmed in our schools for too long by educators that lack the appropriate skills and understanding to meet their needs.

Unfortunately, many districts, board directors, administrators, and educators opt out of professional development and other opportunities to strengthen their practices, including the professional development outlined in this legislation. I am urging you to add an amendment to the bill that provides some measure of accountability, particularly a requirement for in-service educators (educators, for this purpose, is defined as anyone who works in a school setting) to participate in a minimum number of hours per year to maintain their certificated status and/or employment status. Dismantling racial oppression and learning cultural competence cannot be done in the one day set aside in this legislation. It has to be an ongoing commitment. Requiring educators to dedicate at least 20% of their professional development hours to these goals is not an unreasonable ask.

Please also add accountability to the list of providers OSPI must provide to ensure that the providers are organizations owned and operated by BIPOC with expertise in anti-racist professional development for educators. We must value the expertise of the communities most negatively impacted by systemic racial oppression.

Thank you.

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