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Early Learning Facilities

Natural Resources, Department of
Title of action
Early Learning Facilities
Date significant agency action was initiated
Friday, December 15, 2023
Agency-request legislation
Brief description of significant agency actions for which the agency is initiating an environmental justice assessment.
This Agency Request Legislation expands the definition of “Common School”, currently limited to K-12, to include early care and education. This allows for the construction and maintenance of early care and education facilities at public schools with revenue from DNR’s Common School Construction Fund. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will have the authority and discretion to allocate the proceeds received by the sale of timber or otherwise generated by state lands. A separate new capital gains tax now provides enough funding for K-12 school construction; this is proposed legislation is complementary and addresses an unfunded need.
Methods for providing public comment for agency consideration as part of the environmental justice assessment.
DNR will formally invite stakeholders to provide feedback on all the Agency Request Legislation for the upcoming legislative session. Comments will be received through an online portal and may be directed to individual DNR staff members, as well. Stakeholders are also encouraged to participate in the legislative process through public comment and engagement with elected representatives. OSPI will also convene a committee of early learning facilities experts to advise the prioritization methodology of applications for projects; members will include representatives from the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Department of Commerce, one of the State’s educational Service Districts, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and the early learner facilities stakeholder group.