SB 5718 establishes a process for formal consideration of potential equity and social justice impacts resulting from policy and fiscal decision making in the public education system.
The OSPI must assemble a work group consisting of representatives from DEL; the student’s achievement council; the state board of education; the state board for community and technical colleges; the professional educator standards board; one representative from all federally recognized Indian tribes whose traditional lands and territories are within the state (the tribes are designated to choose the representatives); and four members appointed by the governor in consultation with the state ethnic commissions, where one of each representative is from the African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander American populations.
The workgroup will develop and design a uniform equity impact review process to identify and evaluate potential impacts of proposed administrative rules and budget requests that affect educational equity. At minimum the process must:
- Determine if there is a positive or negative impact on the determinants of equity (the social, economic, geographic, political, and physical environment conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age) that are necessary to have equity for all people.
- If there is an impact, identify the communities (group of people who share, for example, a sense of membership, culture, language, or common norms and interests).
- Identify the type and degree of equity (all people have equal access to opportunities that enable them to reach their full potential) impact.
- Identify the stakeholders from the communities impacted.
- And finally, recommend ways to mitigate or eliminate negative equity impacts, or enhance positive impacts, and identify barriers to implementing alternative options.
The equity impact review process must be completed within four months from the date when the governor signs the 2015 omnibus operating appropriations act. Annual reports are to be submitted to the educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee, and the legislature beginning January 15, 2017, thereafter on December 31st of each year. The report must include whether the agency took actions to alter a proposed rule or budget request based on the equity review, and if so, what those actions included.
Beginning January 1, 2016 the equity impact review process must be available to the public for comment.