The board will represent the district’s interests in legislative action to promote the welfare of public education in the state of Washington or will direct those interests to be represented through its executive officer, the superintendent or designee.
As a public entity, the board must operate within the bounds of state and federal laws affecting public education. To effectively meet these responsibilities to the public and students of the district, the board will work vigorously for the passage of new laws designed to advance the cause of effective schools and for the repeal or modification of existing laws that impede this cause. The board also supports a legislative program that fosters the maintenance of local control in decision making and governance within the district.
To achieve these goals, the board will periodically study, discuss and weigh the merits of pending legislation for the purpose of establishing its official position through board action. When established, these official positions will be the position of the district in the legislative process.
Board Legislative Activities
The board will:
A. Designate one of its members to serve as legislative representative with the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA);
B. Develop an annual legislative program through conferences with WSSDA and the National School Boards Association;
C. Support and work for legislation that promotes the quality of education within Bellingham Public Schools, the region and the state of Washington;
D. Commit to sending a team to the WSSDA/WASA Legislative Conference held each February;
E. Stay informed of pending legislation and actively communicate concerns and make its position known to elected representatives at both the state and national levels by regular contact with their legislators in-district, in Olympia and in Washington D.C;
F. Seek adequate funding for schools and full funding for state and federally-mandated programs;
G. Set aside board meeting time to discuss legislative issues, using resources such as WSSDA’s Legislative Updates;
H. Respond appropriately to requests for legislative proposals, comments on legislative proposals, and development of priority positions;
I. Work with the superintendent to ensure local media representatives and legislators are invited to board meetings and school activities;
J. Work for the achievement of common legislative objectives with WSSDA and with other concerned groups; and
K. Inform the public of its legislative priorities and outcomes of its legislative efforts.
Board members, individually or as members of professional organizations, will not represent positions conflicting with the district’s positions on legislative matters unless it is made clear that such representation is not the official position of the district.
WSSDA Legislative Representative
The board’s WSSDA legislative representative serves as the contact person and acts as the coordinator of the board’s legislative activities. The legislative representative also serves as the board’s liaison at the WSSDA Legislative Assembly. The legislative representative will be elected from among its members at the first regular meeting in even-numbered years and will serve for a period of two years. The legislative representative will:
A. Support the board’s engagement and participation in WSSDA’s annual legislative program. This includes:
- Reviewing WSSDA legislative proposals with the board prior to WSSDA’s annual Legislative Assembly
- When appropriate, obtaining the board’s support for a legislative proposal to be submitted to the WSSDA Legislative Assembly and supporting that proposal at the Assembly; and
- Representing the board at state legislative meetings (e.g., the Legislative Assembly, the Olympia Legislative Conference and any area or regional workshops).
B. Stay apprised of and initiate communications regarding state and federal educational policy and legislative issues/developments by:
- Providing legislative updates periodically at board meetings and during the Legislative Session sharing information from WSSDA’s legislative updates; and
- Contacting legislators at appropriate times when legislative issues require it.
C. Work with the superintendent to establish and/or maintain contacts with local legislators, community education stakeholder groups, and the local media to explain or clarify WSSDA positions on legislative issues.
Policy 1210 – Annual Organizational Meeting
Policy 1220 – Board Officers and Duties of Board Members
Chapter 28A.345 RCW Washington State School Directors’ Association
2017 – April Issue
2009 – August Issue