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Education issues continue to take center stage during this years legislative session. A bill has been introduced to the Washington state Senate that would effectively transfer some of the current authority from the states Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to local school boards and districts. 7th District Senator Shelly Short, a Republican from Addy, introduced Senate Bill 5029 citing inspiration for the bill came from actions taken during the pandemic by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instructions. Short says local school districts should be making their own decisions and not having to deal with threats and edicts from the Governor's office, who said they would issue fines and withhold funding if districts were not abiding by the Governor's orders that would then be instituted by the department of Labor and Industries. Short called the actions over the top and "something we don't want to ever see happen again." Passage of the bill would be a constitutional change and permanently strip the state superintendent of their authority over certain matters as well giving more authority and “say so” to local school board. SB-5029 has five co-sponsors, who are all Republicans.

The bill received its first reading last month and has been referred to the Senate's Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.

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