Rule bills to support students signed by Governor

OLYMPIA – Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed two bills by Rep. Alicia Rule (D-Blaine) to help students succeed by getting more kids learning outside and supporting their physical and emotional growth.

The first bill, HB 1664, will provide more counselors, nurses and social workers in schools. This bill was developed in response to the devastating toll the pandemic has taken on youth.

“I’ve never seen children’s mental health this bad in all my years of social work,” said Rule. “Teachers, parents, and staff have made heroic efforts to support kids in these challenging times. They deserve so much more than our thanks. Kids, parents, and educators deserve support and that’s why I’m so proud to see this bill signed today.”

The second bill, HB 2078, directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to create a program that will award grants to support schools in offering outdoor learning, requires the OSPI give priority to schools that have been underserved in science education, and encourages the program to work with education stakeholders to develop principles for outdoor education.

“I’ve said this before and I really mean it – this is a challenging time for families and students, but it’s also an opportunity to act,” said Rule. “These bills and many more investments by the state Legislature are critical to our kids’ success. It’s time to recover together, heal together and together, give our kids the support they need to be happy and healthy.”