Wilson bills deliver on child safety, education, community care 

Olympia – A package of bills sponsored by State Sen. Claire Wilson(D-Auburn) would strengthen child safety, recognize academic achievement, and improve public access to school resources.  

SB 5498 would recognize the academic achievements of a student who has completed necessary classwork but died prior to graduation by allowing the student’s parents to receive a posthumous diploma.  

SB 5376 would connect families to public school resources and supports by raising awareness of the services the state Office of Education Ombuds (OEO).  

SB 5572 would enhance the ability to investigate and prosecute people who are using common or emerging technologies to victimize minors. “Children are our most vulnerable assets,” Wilson said. “It is paramount that we take the necessary steps to ensure their success and safety in and out of the classroom.” 

All three bills have been passed by the Senate and await action in the House. 

“These bills address the concerns of families across our state who want their children’s education and safety prioritized,” said Wilson. “We have heard their concerns and are committed to delivering results.” 

Connecting Communities with the Office of Education Ombuds 

The OEO was established by the Legislature in 2006 to reduce educational opportunity gaps by helping families, students, educators and communities in understanding the K-12 education system and resolving concerns collaboratively. OEO services include: 

  • Informing students, families, employees and the public about the state’s public K-12 education system; 
  • Identifying obstacles and recommending strategies to help students and community members participate effectively in schools;  
  • Referring individuals and families to appropriate resources, agencies or departments; 
  • Facilitating the resolution of informal complaints made by parents or students; and 
  • Serving as the lead agency to provide resources and tools to parents and families about public school anti-harassment policies and strategies. 

Multi-faceted approach to childcare: Round table with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray 

Wilson delivered on childcare last session with the Fair Start for Kids Act (FSKA). Two weeks ago she joined U.S. Sen. Patty Murray for a roundtable discussion to explain this multi-faceted approach to solving the childcare crisis and the progress that has been made so far.  

FSKA ensures childcare is more affordable for families, supports the expansion availability of childcare, and strengthens prevention and intervention services. 

“The Fair Start for Kids Act is landmark historic legislation that will provide accessible and affordable childcare for families across our state,” Wilson said. “At a time when the pandemic has exacerbated the issues around childcare and education, this legislation will help ensure kids are getting the resources they need to succeed.” 

You can see the full conversation on resources these resources to families here. 

“It’s a great start, but it’s not enough,” Wilson said, “and there is still work to be done”.