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A short session with significant possibilities

Yesterday the legislature reconvened in Olympia for a short session and a number of the League of Education Voters’ (LEV) legislative priorities  are already in play.

The House wasted no time in passing the Washington State DREAM Act (HB 1817), with a bipartisan vote of 71 to 23 on the first day of the 2014 legislative session. All eyes now turn to the Senate on this important bill. LEV partner organization One America has published an excellent fact sheet on the DREAM Act.

Today in the Senate, K–12 leaders will introduce legislation to support the effective implementation of the Teacher/Principal Evaluation Pilot (TPEP) to improve educational outcomes for all students.

This afternoon, our early learning champions will announce legislation to overhaul our state’s early learning system to ensure high-quality, affordable, effective programs are accessible to all Washington families. Early learning is one of the best economic investments we can make for our state. For every dollar spent on early learning there is a return of seven dollars or more, which comes from a variety of savings, including decreased costs for special education, grade repetition, and criminal justice. One of the reasons early learning is such a powerful investment is because the majority of brain development happens before age five. It is critical to provide children with the supports and education they need during their first five years.

To learn more about what happens today and join in the conversation, follow us on Twitter @edvoters. And don’t forget about our weekly online webinar series, Lunchtime LEVinars, which take place during the lunch hour every Thursday of the legislative session. Once a week. 30 minutes. Your legislators. Your issues. Our next webinar features Washington Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, Chair of the House Education Committee and Co-chair of the Washington State Education Opportunity Gap Accountability and Oversight Committee.

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