How does E2SSB 6696, which addresses education reform, affect the superior court?

E2SSB 6696 is related to the goals of the Race to the Top (RTTT) funding through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The bill addresses an accountability framework for the continuous improvement of all schools and districts. The following addresses how part of this legislation (Section 105) specifically impacts the superior court.

Any school district designated as a required action district must submit a required action plan to the state board of education for approval.

In these districts, the parties of any collective bargaining agreement negotiated, renewed, or extended under chapter 41.59 or 41.56 RCW after the effective date of this bill, must reopen the agreement or negotiate an addendum, if needed, to make changes to the terms and conditions of employment that are necessary to implement the required action plan.

If the school district and the employee organizations are unable to agree on the terms of the modification or addendum, the parties shall request the Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) to appoint a mediator to assist in dispute resolution.

Mediation MUST commence no later than April 15th each year.

 If mediation is unsuccessful, the executive director of PERC must certify the remaining disputed issues to the superior court for determination. The certification must be done no later than May 15th of the year in which the mediation occurred.

The school district must file a petition with the superior court no later than May 20th of the year in which the issues were certified.

Each party must file a proposal and brief within seven (7) days of the filing of the petition.

After receipt of the proposals and briefs of all parties, the court must set a hearing.

The hearing must be limited to argument of the parties regarding the proposals submitted.

The parties may waive a hearing by written agreement.

The court must enter an order selecting the proposal for inclusion in a required action plan no later than June 15th of the year in which the petition is filed.

The order is final and binding on the parties.

The order is subject to appeal only in the case where it does not allow the school district to implement a required action plan consistent with the requirements for the award of a federal school improvement grant or other federal funds.

Each party shall bear its own costs and attorney's fees incurred under this statute.

To help the courts track these filings within the required time limits set forth by the bill, a new Civil Cause Code has been created:

 SDR - School District-Required Action Plan.

Case Type - 2.
Connection Codes - Petitioner, Respondent.


RN id: 2159