2014-15 School Year Advocacy Updates

 

Thousands rally in Olympia for smaller class sizes and professional compensation

More than 4,000 people attended the hour long rally, held a day after lawmakers adjourned their regular session without coming to agreement on a two-year state budget. They are due back in Olympia for a special session, to start Wednesday April 29th.
Thousands of teachers, students, parents, and supporters crowded the steps of the state Capitol’s legislative building for a rally Saturday morning to call for teacher-pay raises, smaller class sizes and less standardized testing.
Gov. Inslee, Sen. Cyrus Habib and, Speaker of the House Frank Chopp addressed the crowd. Chopp emphasized his opposition to Senate legislation mandating the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations, and Habib said the Legislature should fully fund the smaller K-12 class sizes approved by voters in I-1351 last fall.
 

 

One-day strikes in 15 school districts-for now*  

Here are the locals that have voted to strike against the Legislature, and in particular, the Republican Senate’s budget plan:

  • Lakewood (April 22)
  • Stanwood-Camano (April 22)
  • Arlington (April 22)
  • Bellingham (April 24)
  • Blaine (April 24)
  • Conway (April 24)
  • Ferndale (April 24)
  • Mount Vernon (April 24)
  • Anacortes (April 24)
  • Sedro Woolley (April 29)
  • Bainbridge Island (April 30)
  • Burlington-Edison (April 30)
  • Oak Harbor (May 1)
  • Lake Washington (May 6)
  • South Whidbey (May 6)

*Northshore voting on April 24th whether to strike now or in the Fall

 

It's not too late to contact your legislator(s)... It's time we all stand up together 

Please, let them know it’s our State’s duty to fully fund education. It’s time to pass a budget that supports the McCleary decision and smaller class sizes without compromising other social services. Please, take 5 minutes and contact them today!
Families who are in the neighborhoods closest to Wellington are represented by the following legislators:

Families that live more to the north in the areas of Paradise Lake Road and Crystal Lake have the following representatives:

If you are unsure who is your representative, you can enter your address here to find out exactly which representatives to contact: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/.
Thanks for advocating for our children! Contact Kelly Vedaa, Advocacy Chair, at kvedaa.pta@gmail.com for any questions or comments.
 

 

Focus Day 2015 Success 

Over 500 attendees braved the threat of bad weather in Olympia to join arms and support fully funding education and support the WSPTA’s Top 5 Legislative Agenda. We were met with clear skies that allowed for a great rally on the capitol steps. After the rally, PTA legislative leaders met with Governor Inslee and his staff to discuss our legislative priorities and urge him to continue his support for fully funding basic education without endangering critical social services.

 

McCleary Looms Large

The McCleary Decision is the big ticket item of the legislative session. With Governor Inslee’s budget proposal starting the conversation, the legislature is now working on their versions of how the state plans to fully fund basic education. All eyes are now on Representative Ross Hunter who will introduce the House version of the operating budget at the end of the month. The State Senate will follow shortly thereafter. Our McCleary and Capital Funding Issue teams are working together under the guidance of Eden Mack. If you wish to be part of the McCleary discussion, join the issue team by clicking this link!

 

Breakfast after the Bell Gains Momentum

Another of our "Top 5" legislative priorities is the "Breakfast After The Bell" program. Vancouver Council President, Heather Lindberg, leads the WSPTA issue team. The bill would fund grants for high needs elementary schools allowing them to participate in the Federal Breakfast program. Sponsored in the House by Rep. Zack Hugdins (HB 1295) and by Sen. Steve Litzow in the Senate (SB 5437), the bill has a broad base of support and cleared a critical hurdle this week when it passed the House Education Committee. For more information on the program, click here. The Bill has a long way to go before becoming law, and we need your help. Join us by signing up to be on the Breakfast issue team here!

 

Social and Emotional Learning Bill heard in Senate Education

Our members strongly support creating positive school climates through social and emotional learning and were on hand to testify in support of Senate Bill 5688 to achieve this goal. The bill would establish a work group to develop guidelines and benchmarks to improve social and emotional behaviors in the classroom. WSPTA member Sarah Butcher has been tirelessly working on this legislation and has established SEL for WA to garner support. This is a key component of our Top 5 Platform. To help us pass this critical legislation, sign up here. The House version, HB 1760, will be heard at 8am on February 12th. Join us to support your legislative team!

 

Student Privacy and Financial Literacy Bills Advance in House and Senate

WSPTA members testified in support of legislation advancing the cause of student privacy and financial literacy. House Bill 1495 and Senate Bill 5419 will protect you and your children by restricting third party use of student information. Senate Bill 5202 and House Bill 1121 expands access to financial literacy tools in K-12 while Senate Bill 5349 addresses financial literacy at the collegiate level. If you would like to help us advance this legislation or have a personal story to share, reply to this e-mail or sign up on Engage here.

 

2017 Northshore School District Boundary Adjustment Planning

Changes will be implemented in fall 2017 to provide positive outcomes for students through the opening of North Creek High School, grade reconfiguration (K-5 elementary, 6-8 middle and 9-12 high schools) and boundary adjustments that will create a service area for North Creek High School and help to balance student enrollment districtwide. The Enrollment Demographics Task Force (EDTF) has worked over the last several months to develop a draft 2017 boundary proposal for community review and input that works to create a service area for North Creek High School and help balance student enrollment districtwide. The EDTF will use the input received to make modifications in the boundary proposals, inform communication strategies and needs, develop additional FAQs and informational tools, and inform transition needs over the next two years. Please, see Northshore School District Boundary Look Up Map at NSD.org.