Education advocates celebrate the passage of the basic education finance reform legislation, ESHB 2261, by a vote of 26 to 23. Our broad-based coalition includes Washington State PTA, League of Education Voters, State Board of Education, Washington Stand for Children, Washington Roundtable, TechAmerica, Partnership for Learning, Black Education Strategy Roundtable, numerous school boards and superintendents from across the state, and countless others.
Outlined below are quotes from the various coalition members.
Mary Jean Ryan, Chair, State Board of Education
“The State Board of Education strongly commends the Senate for taking this historic action. This is exactly the demonstration of leadership that the children of Washington State deserve. We urge the House to concur with this revised bill. This action will propel us forward. We are now committed and accountable to ensuring all students leave high school, college, or work ready. After too long a wait, Washington’s educational system is once again moving in the right direction.”
Cheryl Jones, Black Education Strategy Roundtable
“This is a great start toward reforming our education system and moving our children into a learning environment that puts their futures as a priority in our state. As we work together to implement HB 2261, we are encouraged that all children will have access to a quality education and that we will continually work toward closing the achievement gap for minority and low income children.”
Jon Gould, Children’s Alliance and Early Learning Action Alliance
“We applaud the Senate for their historic vote today modernizing the definition of basic education. We thank Senators for including early learning in basic education and recognizing that smart investments in early learning yield positive returns for families and communities across Washington State. In these tough times, this farsighted policy puts early childhood education on a stronger footing for future growth. It’s a great day for children in Washington.”
Chris Korsmo, Executive Director, League of Education Voters
“We’re one step closer to making history for one million public school kids in our state. These reforms take advantage of the latest evidence-based research to improve academic achievement for children. Early learning, stronger graduation requirements and a longer school day will better prepare our kids for school and for life.
Including early learning in basic education will mean more children will start school ready to succeed and prevent the achievement gap from occurring. This is the best investment we can make to improve outcomes for children.”
Shannon Campion, Executive Director, Washington Stand for Children
“This is an historic vote for Washington’s children. Legislators today demonstrated that even during an economic crisis, we can stay focused on, and make marked progress toward, our vision of a world-class education system for all Washington’s children.”
Jennifer Boutell, Parent, Tacoma Public Schools
“Tacoma desperately needs these reforms. My hope is that by the time my girls reach high school, the public school system will be able to prepare them for the 21st century economy.”
Terry Byington, Executive Director, TechAmerica
“In future years we’ll look back on this watershed moment and be thankful the Legislature took this stand to support students.”
Laura Bay, President, Washington State PTA
“Today is a great day for the children of Washington. The Senate’s passage of HB 2261 is an important next step to set the State of Washington on the road toward fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide ample funding for the education of all children. We are on our way to fulfilling the goal of providing the education system we need to educate our children for success in today’s world. Many legislators along with a strong coalition of education advocates, including volunteer PTA members from across the state have worked tirelessly in support of this effort. We applaud the efforts and the courage of those who crafted this legislation and those who have voted for it.
Having said that, we must all recognize that the fight is not yet won, because the bill now goes back to the House of Representatives for concurrence, and then to the Governor for her approval. We encourage both the House and the Governor to take swift action because our kids can’t wait.”