2017 State Legislative Agenda

Download our 2017 State Legislative Agenda (PDF)

Promote Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Social-emotional learning (SEL) helps youth engage in classroom learning, improve their academic achievement, establish and maintain positive relationships, and develop effective life skills, such as teamwork, sound decision-making, and clear communication. These skills can result in better jobs, higher wages, and greater well-being. Committee for Children advocates for inclusion of SEL curricula and professional development in all education and childcare legislation:

  • Support HB 1518, which calls for further refinement of the statewide SEL benchmarks and standards and provision of SEL technical assistance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for schools as well as funding to implement quality before- and after-school programs and summer programs with an SEL component
  • Support SB 5155, which eliminates use of suspension and expulsion in Grades K–2 and encourages schools and districts to adopt evidence-based practices to support students in meeting behavioral expectations

Support Trauma-Informed Practices

Every classroom in every preschool and K–12 school in the United States has students who have experienced trauma from household dysfunction, abuse, neglect, poverty, housing instability, witnessing violence, or immigration and refugee experiences. Traumatized children may act out, withdraw, or have difficulty paying attention, all of which impede their ability to learn. Committee for Children supports legislation and budgeting to address children’s needs in childcare and school settings by implementing trauma-informed practices:

  • Support HB 1638, which encourages trauma-informed practices in childcare

Protect Children from Abuse

Children can thrive when raised in safe home, school, and out-of-school environments. Committee for Children supports efforts that use research- and evidence-based practices to protect children from violence, abuse, bullying, and racial disparity and that train teachers, parents, and other adults to recognize, respond appropriately, and report child sexual abuse, bullying, and potentially lethal situations:

  • Support the creation of a Department of Children, Youth, and Families focused on improving outcomes for children using intergenerational strategies and addressing issues of racial and ethnic equity
  • Support the full implementation and use of the 2016 health and physical education standards and other evidence-based, age-appropriate practices that prevent violence, promote safety, and create a positive school climate where youth feel safe from bullying and abuse and supported in developing and maintaining positive relationships
  • Support HB 1563, which would require school districts to post the National Child Abuse Hotline number “in the language or languages that appropriately reflect the students enrolled” in their schools
    Ensure that mandatory reporters know the signs of child sexual abuse, respond appropriately, and report suspected cases to the proper authorities
  • Support HB 1122, which ensures guns are kept out of the hands of children and young adults and away from schools through responsible storage of firearms