New bill allows schools for the blind, deaf to retain funds

House Bill 2757, signed into law yesterday by Gov. Gregoire, will make a big difference for the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) and for the Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL). It establishes new accounts, allowing these schools to retain funds which they have received from grants and awards beyond a current budget cycle. In the past, those funds would expire at the end of the cycle because WSSB and CDFL didn’t have the same options that are available to other schools. Since WSSB and CDHL are stand-alone agencies, they were prevented by Washington’s budgetary laws from retaining outside funds they had been awarded. This much-needed legislation prevents big cuts that would have directly affected children in the schools. These institutions can now make better use of limited resources and develop additional partnerships in and outside of Washington. For more information, call 360-786-7872, 360-693-0804, or e-mail moeller.jim@leg.wa.gov.