SB 6696: Workforce Development Initiative Findings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: David Brenna, 360-725-6238, david.brenna@k12.wa.us

Olympia, Washington – January 25, 2012

The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) today released a report to the Washington State Legislature on the results of a Workforce Development initiative directed in Senate Bill 6696, from the 2010 Washington Legislature. The legislation states that each Educational Service District (ESD) and the PESB shall annually convene school districts and educator preparation programs in each region to “review district and regional educator workforce data, make biennial projections of certificated staffing needs, and identify how recruitment and enrollment plans in educator preparation programs reflect projected need.”

The report outlines the findings of the regional meetings with school districts and makes recommendations for policy considerations based on those findings. The report was not required, but the PESB determined that the information in the report advances the Legislature’s interest in improving educator workforce approaches.

The report describes three areas of significant impact on school district ability to improve workforce development. The PESB found that districts need assistance in basic analysis of demographic information in order to project their enrollment and more proactively recruit new teachers. Those projections are further complicated by the high level of financial risk that districts face if they over-estimate their enrollments. Finally, local partnerships between districts and preparation programs offer the greatest opportunity to significantly improve workforce development and should be considered for support.

The report suggest solutions including a state-developed, web-based forecasting tool that can be used at the local level, allocation policy changes that take advantage of the states relatively stable K-12 student populations to mitigate losses for some districts, and incentivizing local partnerships between school districts and educator preparation programs.

Although the statute requires districts to report on their two year projections for new hires, the PESB and Educational Service Districts, in conducting these meetings, found most districts unprepared to provide meaningful projections and the report provides potential policy direction to make compliance to the requirements in SB 6696 possible in the future.

Read the entire report: Educator Workforce Regional Meetings: A Report to the Governor and Washington State Legislature on the Status of Requirements in SB 6696, 2010 Legislative Session