OSPI Reports to the Legislature

The State Legislature assigns work to OSPI through legislation. Sometimes, the assigned work concludes in a report back to the Legislature describing what OSPI has done, data collected, next steps, and at times, recommendations.

Reports going back to 2020 are included below. If the report title says "Update," it means the Legislature requires OSPI to submit more than one report on the topic.


Every school year, each school district in Washington state is required to make a minimum of 180 days and 1,027 average annual hours of instructional time available to students. In some circumstances, OSPI has authority to grant a waiver to districts if they do not meet these requirements – whether that is planned or due to an emergency school closure. Due to the mandatory school building closures in the spring of 2020 to limit the spread of COVID-19, the most utilized waiver in the 2019–20 school year was the Emergency School Closure Waiver, which was granted to 186 districts for both days and hours, and to 112 districts for hours only.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.760

Every school year, each school district in Washington state is required to make a minimum of 180 days and 1,027 average annual hours of instructional time available to students. In some circumstances, OSPI has authority to grant a waiver to districts if they do not meet these requirements – whether that is planned or due to an emergency school closure. This report provides information about various waivers received and approved for the 2020–21 school year.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.760

In 2019, the Legislature established different pathways for students to meet state graduation requirements in a manner consistent with their postsecondary interests and goals. The Class of 2020 was the first graduating class required to meet one or more graduation pathways. This report contains information and data about the pathways available in each school district; the number of students who utilized each pathway; as well as student participation in each pathway disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, and income status.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.655.260

<p><em>*This report was produced jointly with the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).</em></p><p>Aiming to make progress in addressing the education and related support needs of youth in secure facilities, the 2021 Legislature passed House Bill 1295. In meeting the requirements of the bill, OSPI and DCYF formed an advisory group to develop recommendations to OSPI and DCYF on the elements of an implementable plan for reforming institutional education in Washington state. This interim report shares progress from the first year of implementation. A final report will be published in November 2022.</p>

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.190.130

Washington state provides K–12 basic education services to incarcerated and previously incarcerated juveniles. This report, required by the 2021 Legislature, includes a summary of adopted and pending rules to inform the Legislature of any policy and funding changes that may be necessary to accomplish the objective of improving institutional education programs and outcomes.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.190.100

The 2021 Legislature directed OSPI to examine Washington's dropout prevention, intervention, and retrieval system, as well as recommend new or modified dropout reengagement requirements and practices that will promote credit earning and high school completion by youth and post-resident youth. OSPI focused this analysis on Washington's statewide dropout reengagement system: Open Doors. This report includes three recommendations by OSPI to promote better outcomes for post-resident youth and all youth who engage in the state's youth reengagement programs.

Authorizing legislation: House Bill 1295 (2021)

Each year, data are collected from former students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) about their post-school outcomes in their first year out of school – how they have been engaged in the workforce and/or higher education. This report includes data from students who left school in the 2017–18 school year.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.155.220

In 2019, the Legislature passed a bill aiming to expand Washington's current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies – particularly focusing on the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators in high-need subjects, grade levels, and geographic areas. The bill directed OSPI to administer a regional educator recruitment program to the three regional educational service districts (ESDs) with the least access to alternative route teacher certification programs. The selected ESDs are 114 (Olympic Peninsula), 123 (Tri-Cities), and 171 (North Central). Across the three ESDs, the primary focus centered on recruiting systems for American Indian/Alaska Native educators serving both tribal and non-tribal students in the state.

Authorizing legislation: House Bill 1139, [2019]

In 2019, the Legislature established a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Committee to build upon the work of the previous Social Emotional Learning Indicators (SELI) Workgroup. The Committee met regularly over the course of the year and developed recommendations for SEL in Washington state.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.477

The 2021 Legislature tasked OSPI with convening a technical advisory workgroup to explore residency options for pre-service educators, with a focus on educators of color and educators who are multilingual. This report contains preliminary recommendations aimed to support the workgroup, which will convene in January 2022. The workgroup will prepare final recommendations for the Legislature by November 2022.

Authorizing legislation: Senate Bill 5092 (2021), Sec. 522(33)(k), [2021–23 Operating Budget]

Each year on January 16, public schools participate in "Temperance and Good Citizenship Day," where social studies teachers who teach students in the 12th grade are required to provide instructional time for students to register to vote. Between March 2020 and February 2021, nearly 70,000 young people (ages 17 and 18) registered and pre-registered to vote through the Office of the Secretary of State and the Department of Licensing. This report contains more on the work over the past year, recommendations to the Legislature for expanding youth voter registration, and next steps.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.230.150

Since 2018, OSPI and other state partners have been working to develop an implementation plan for building statewide capacity among school districts to improve transition planning activities for students likely to become eligible for services from the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). This report includes research and data on transition, recommendations for improving transition outcomes for students with disabilities in Washington, and more.

Authorizing legislation: Senate Bill 6032 (2018) Sec. 501 (57), [2018 Supplemental Operating Budget], Senate Bill 6168 (2020) Sec. 501 (3)(c), [2020 Supplemental Operating Budget]

The AIM program is intended to support community-based youth development organizations that deliver educational services, mentoring, and recreational activities for youth ages 6–18. Following a competitive grant process in spring 2019, OSPI approved the Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington State Association for a two-year AIM grant. This report reflects outcomes from the second year of the grant.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.215.080

The Legislature established the Building Bridges program and workgroup in 2007 to support all students in remaining on track to graduate. The state's ongoing student engagement and reengagement efforts focused on building local prevention and intervention systems, creating a dropout reengagement system, and coordinating supports with youth- and family-serving agencies. This report provides an annual update.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.175.075

Career and technical education (CTE) course equivalencies are courses that provide students the opportunity to meet standard in core subject areas through CTE courses. This report summarizes data reported to OSPI by school districts about the number of students participating in state-approved equivalency courses, as well as the number of state-approved courses offered.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.236

The federal McKinney-Vento Act broadly defines homelessness in an effort to provide protections and supports for students living in a variety of unstable housing situations. This helps to ensure school stability and continued enrollment at a time when a student's nighttime residence may be constantly changing. Due to the widespread school building closures over the past couple of years to combat the spread of COVID-19, school districts had difficulty identifying and serving students experiencing homelessness during the 2020–21 school year; identifying a significant decrease from the previous year (from 36,996 identified students in 2019–20 to 32,335 in 2020–21). This report provides more information about the data and about how Washington's schools support students experiencing homelessness.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.540

Educators use educational technology assessments to determine if Washington's students meet standards for educational technology. In the 2020–21 school year, 90% of elementary schools, 91% of middle schools, and 92% of high schools reported providing instruction to students in hardware/software training, digital citizenship, media literacy, internet safety, and online tools/search techniques. Less than half of elementary and middle schools, and just over half of high schools, reported assessing their students on these skills.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.655.075

The Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP) promotes personal financial education and is administratively housed within OSPI. The FEPPP provides professional development and instructional tools for teachers so they can teach personal finance in their classrooms. The Partnership's end goal is to equip Washington's youth with the skills they need to become financially capable adults. This report highlights the work of the FEPPP since the last report published in December 2018.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.460

The Gangs in Schools Task Force was created by the Legislature to examine current adult and youth gang activities that are affecting school safety. The task force met regularly from 2008 to 2013. The task force has not met since that time, though their recommendations still stand and the School Safety and Student Well-being Advisory Committee is poised to address any needed policy solutions related to gang activities in schools.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.490

To improve early literacy, each year, the Legislature requires Washington's school districts to assess all students in grades K–4 and determine the number who are reading below grade level and report which intensive reading strategies and/or interventions they are utilizing to improve those students' reading skills. For the 2020–21 school year, OSPI received data on 92% of our state's students in grades K–4. Of those students, 42% were reported as reading below grade level. This report provides more detailed data, as well as the strategies being utilized to support students.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.320.203

The Learning Assistance Program (LAP) provides supplemental instruction and services to students who are not meeting academic standards in basic skill areas (reading, writing, and math). During the 2020–21 school year, 13.8% of Washington's students received LAP services. Of these students, over 70% were identified as low-income and over 26% were receiving English learner services. This report includes further updates on LAP and the students served using LAP funds.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.165.100

Safety Net funding is available to local education agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate need for additional special education funding. Applicants must show need beyond state and federal funding already available to the LEA. The Legislature requires OSPI to annually survey LEAs about their satisfaction with the Safety Net process. The survey is used to consider feedback from LEAs to improve the Safety Net process.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.150.392

Each year, the Legislature requires school districts to report to OSPI with information about any supplemental contracts they enter into for additional time, responsibility, or incentive. The total statewide supplemental pay school districts reported for the 2020-21 school year is estimated at $886 million.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.400.2001

The 2019 Legislature and further, the 2021 Legislature established a definition and training requirements for school districts that choose to employ a school resource officer (SRO). The Legislature directed OSPI to make resources available to support the training of SROs, including in areas of civil rights of children in schools, trauma-informed approaches to working with youth, collateral consequences of arrest and court involvement, restorative justice principles and practices, and more. This report provides an update on the implementation of statewide SRO program requirements and training.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.650

Each year, school districts receive an efficiency rating of their student transportation operations using previous school year data recorded in the transportation funding system. Data were not available to determine efficiency ratings because of school building closures in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, efficiency reviews were not conducted in 2021.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.160.117

In the 2020–21 school year, Washington's schools served more than 64,000 public school students that identified as American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN). The Office of Native Education, housed within OSPI, supports AI/AN students as they achieve education goals and standards while supporting cultural identity. This report includes the Office's accomplishments from July 2020 through June 2021.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.105

English learners – students whose primary language is not English and who are eligible for English language development services – receive TBIP services until they become proficient in English. During the 2019–20 school year, nearly 140,000 students were identified as ELs, a 3% increase from the prior year. This report includes information about the TBIP in the 2019–20 school year, as well as some of the impacts of school facility closures in the spring of 2019 on data quality.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.180.020

This report summarizes state standardized assessments for the 2020–21 school year. Given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education granted some flexibility for some statewide assessments during that year, but for other assessments, expectations were the same as in a typical year.

Authorizing legislation: RCW 28A.300.041

Washington's students bring with them a rich heritage of many cultures and languages. Recognizing the importance of multilingual communication skills and valuing the cultural backgrounds of our students, the 2014 Legislature established the Washington State Seal of Biliteracy, an award earned by graduating seniors who meet certain proficiency standards in both English and a second language. In 2020–21, the Seal was earned by 3,574 high school seniors.

Authorizing legislation: Senate Bill 5092 (2021) Sec, 501(1)(a)(v), [Supplemental Operating Budget]

The 2020 Legislature tasked OSPI with convening a workgroup to review and provide recommendations to the standardized high school transcript, including whether Washington should allow for the use of a weighted grade point average (GPA) for accelerated coursework. The workgroup reviewed policies, practices, and data and ultimately recommended that weighted GPAs not be adopted at this time. Instead, the workgroup recommends this issue be revisited after school districts have sufficient time to put their policies around academic acceleration in place.

Authorizing legislation: Senate Bill 6168 (2020) Sec. 501 (4)(ff), [2020 Supplemental Operating Budget]