Today in the senate, students won as multiple bills centering student needs and access cleared the floor moving to the House for consideration. Two mainline pieces of legislation moving today included student transportation (SB 5174) and special education funding (SB 5311) both championed by Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, chair of the Senate committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.

“With these bills we renewed our commitment to continue enhancing our support for all students across our beautiful state which our best headcounts tell us are nearly 1.1 million strong,” Wellman said. “From the updates to our special education funding model to the modifications to transportation, these critical investments put dollars into action and underscore our dedication to Washington’s students. While we still have work to do, this is a healthy down payment on where we are today and where we need to go tomorrow.”

SB 5311 passed unanimously and would provide almost $700 million over the next four years to school districts across the state for the specific use on special education services for our students.

SB 5174 begins the process of updating the funding models for student transportation. Under new the legislation, districts would have access to additional funds necessary to transport our most “at-risk” students, including students in special education, foster youth and homeless youth.