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Current Legislation

Senate Bill 5594 – Supporting media literacy and digital citizenship.

WA Senate Bill 5594
Sponsors: Marko Liias [D], Judith Warnick [R], Claire Wilson [D], Lisa Wellman [D], Patty Kuderer [D], Joe Nguyen [D], Rebecca Saldana [D], Hans Zeiger [R].

This bill would establish a grant program to develop media literacy programs to be integrated in English, social studies, or health. It also would provide for two media literacy conferences to disseminate the work of the grantees.

Although this bill originally stalled in the legislature, in September of 2019 the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced a new media literacy education grant program. Funds ($150,000 were allocated by the 2019 legislature for 2019/2020) will be awarded through a competitive grant process for the development of K-12 curriculum units focused on media literacy or digital citizenship, or both, that may be integrated into social studies, English language arts, or health classes.  Washington State’s Office of Public Instruction Bulletin regarding Media Literacy Grants.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here.

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate.

    • Write an Email

      To both your State Representative and your State Senator, or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy – be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

      Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

      Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

      Dear _____: I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).


      Your Name, Address
      (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    …about your outreach and THANK YOU – you are helping create a more media literate world!

WA Senate Bill 5594

Jan 13, 2020 –  By resolution, reintroduced and retained in present status: pending in Ways & Means Committee.

Jan 24, 2019 – Senate: First reading. Referred to Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Feb 20, 2019 – Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Feb 22, 2019 – Executive action in Senate Comm on Early Learning & K-12 Education: Majority do pass. Referred to Ways & Means.

Existing Law

Concerning media literacy and digital citizenship in schools 2017

This law requires the Washington State School Directors’ Association to:

(1) Review and revise its model policy and procedures on electronic resources and internet safety; and

(2) Develop a checklist of items for school districts to consider when updating their policy and procedures. It requires the office of the superintendent of public instruction to:

      (1) Survey teacher-librarians, principals, and technology directors to understand how they are currently integrating digital citizenship and media literacy education in their curriculum; and

      (2) Create a web-based location with links to recommended successful practices and resources to support digital citizenship, media literacy, and internet safety.

WA Senate Bill 5449 
Sponsors: Sen. Marko Liias [D], Sen. Hans Zeiger [R], Sen. Andrew Billig [D], Sen. Samuel Hunt [D], Sen. David Frockt [D].

This law, signed by the Governor on April 20th, 2017,  follows up on recommendations from the OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), as a result of the implementation of Washington’s Senate Bill 6273, the basis for the national policy model that Media Literacy Now is rolling out to states around the country.

Jan 25, 2017 – First reading, referred to Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Feb 13, 2017 – Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Feb 16, 2017 – Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Feb 21, 2017 – Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.
Mar 2, 2017 – 1st substitute bill (EDU 17); Third reading, passed; yeas, 40; nays, 9; absent, 0; excused, 0.
Mar 6, 2017 – House, First reading, referred to Education.
Mar 16, 2017 – Public hearing in the House Committee on Education.
Mar 28, 2017 – Executive action taken in the House Committee on Education: Majority; do pass.
Mar 29, 2017 – Referred to Rules 2 Review.
Apr 6, 2017 – House; Third reading, passed; yeas, 76; nays, 21; absent, 0; excused, 1.
Apr 14, 2017 – Senate; Delivered to Governor.
Apr 20, 2017 – Senate; Governor signed. Chapter 90, 2017 Laws.
Apr 20, 2017 – Effective date 7/23/2017.

Concerning media literacy and digital citizenship in public schools 2016

As technology becomes more prevalent, students must learn how to safely, ethically, responsibly, and effectively use technology. This law  enables students, parents or guardians, teachers and other school employees, administrators, volunteers, and community representatives to engage in an ongoing discussion on safe technology use, Internet use, digital citizenship, and media literacy.

Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), along with an advisory committee, is now empowered to develop best practices and recommendations, including instructional guidance about thoughtful, safe, and strategic uses of online and other media resources, and education in how to apply critical thinking skills when consuming and producing information.

WA Senate Bill 6273
Sponsors: Liias, Litzow, Rolfes, Fain, Mullet, et al.

WA House Bill 2595
Sponsors: Ortiz-Self, Ryu, Peterson, Robinson, McBride, et al.

WA Senate Bill 6273
WA House Bill 2595

Jan 13, 2016 – Introduced, First reading, referred to Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Jan 18, 2016 – Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Jan 28, 2016 – Reported out of Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education, referred to Senate Rules Committee.
Feb 9, 2016 – Passed Senate, 48-0.
Feb 10, 2016 – House: First reading, referred to Education.
Feb 22, 2016 – Public hearing in the House Committee on Education.
Mar 1, 2016 – Passed House of Representatives, 94-3.
Mar 8, 2016 –  Passed Senate, 47-0.
Mar 29, 2016 – S6273 signed by Governor Jay Inslee.
Jun 9, 2016 – Effective date.

K-12 information technology and digital citizenship support.

This law changed the name of the school-library media program to the school library information and technology program. It also expanded the duties of the program and the teacher/librarian.

AN ACT Relating to school library information and technology programs.
The teacher-librarian’s duties may include … collaborating with his or her schools to:
Instruct students in digital citizenship including how to be critical consumers of information and provide guidance about thoughtful and strategic use of online resources…

Senate Bill 5294 
Sponsors: McAuliffe, Litzow, Kohl-Welles, Hasegawa, Chase.

WA Senate Bill 5294

Apr 17, 2015 – Passed.
Jul 24, 2015 – Effective date.

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Washington state media literacy legislation