Proposal to slash in-person schooling alarming, says Braun

One day a week of remote schooling without teacher contact a huge mistake

OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered the following reaction upon hearing Senate Bill 5735, which would allow up to one day a week of school to be held remotely on a permanent basis, will receive a hearing Wednesday.

The bill, which codifies rulemaking ability the State Board of Education gave itself to make this same reduction, also says communication between the teacher and the students during that time would not be required. SB 5735 would mean students could lose 20% of critical instructional time.

“Parents should find it alarming that anyone would propose taking away one-fifth of our kids’ instructional time when teachers and students are trying to regain academic and psychological ground lost during a year of remote learning and isolation. Most disturbing is the idea that students and teachers would not be required to communicate during this remote learning time. We pay teachers to teach. If we reduce their time with students by 20%, maybe we should reduce their salary 20% as well.

“Parents will struggle to find and afford childcare for time that their kids should be at school. And whoever supervises the children will have to provide assistance and instruction if the teacher is not required to do so – instruction caregivers may not be qualified to provide.

“Senate Bill 5735 would create an unnecessary hardship for families already struggling to pay the bills, especially for those with multiple children in school or for single parents. It would create an undeserved roadblock for children with special needs who depend on classroom time and teachers’ aides for their development. And it would worsen our shortage of affordable childcare.

“Senate Bill 5735 is a huge step backward in restoring Washington’s K-12 education system to its prepandemic success. It’s a huge mistake.”

SB 5375 is scheduled for a hearing in the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee meeting at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19. Click here to sign in to testify remotely, submit written testimony or have your position on the bill recorded.


Before the 2021-22 school year, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted permanent rules that allow school districts to “deliver instructional hours through learning modalities other than in-person instruction which may include, but are not limited to, distance learning, hybrid classrooms, rotating schedules, or other methods that allow for delivery of basic education services under certain conditions, including emergencies.” While this flexibility seems practical during a pandemic, it means the SBE could implement the 20-percent reduction even if SB 5735 doesn’t pass.