Rep. Mike Hope introduces legislation to help kids
Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, has introduced legislation that focuses on helping kids succeed. Two of these bills were heard on Wednesday, Feb. 7. One of them, House bill 1261 would allow children who are removed from their home to be temporarily placed in short-term emergency care while their needs are assessed.
“This bill was brought to me by a constituent, Todd McNeal,” Hope said. “He made it clear this bill is really about protecting scared kids until they can be placed in a more permanent home.”
McNeal is the founder of Safe Place, a volunteer organization that helps at-risk kids until they are placed in a foster home. The organization has helped dozens of children but was told they would have to stop because they didn’t have the right license. Hope’s bill would allow Safe Place to obtain a license by establishing a new licensing category. The bill is now awaiting a vote in the Early Learning and Human Services Committee.
The second bill, House bill 1293, would create transparency surrounding standardized tests. The bill instructs school districts to notify parents or guardians of K-12 students of assessment subjects, the time tests will take, if the test is required for graduation and options students will have if they do not pass. This bill would also require an accounting of the amount of instructional time spent on tests and the financial cost of administering the assessments.
“This legislation is about making our testing processes better. When school districts provide this information, parents can learn what is being done right and what may not be working. Knowledge will allow people to make more informed decisions about how their children are educated and how their tax dollars are spent,” Hope said.
The bill was heard in the House Education Committee where it is likely to be scheduled for a vote. Bills have until Feb. 22 to be voted out of policy committees in order to continue through the process. The legislative session began Jan. 14, 2013 and is scheduled to last 105-days.