The 2014 legislative session may have been short, but there were significant policy accomplishments in improving public education in Washington state. These accomplishments expand access to financial aid for higher education for all Washington students, pave the way for all students to graduate from high school ready for college or career, and make steps toward reducing the opportunity and achievement gaps. (more…)
Archive for March, 2014
A multifaceted approach yields a strong step forward in closing the opportunity and achievement gaps
By Beth Richer, League of Education Voters Government Relations
Within any given legislative session there are victories, defeats, and measures left in a state of limbo. The 2014 session was no different. But amidst those victories, defeats, and states of limbo, there was an underlying theme for much of the education legislation related to the opportunity gap. Legislators, advocacy organizations, teachers, parents, students, and business leaders alike all said loud and clear: “We must take action to close the gaps and address our most underserved students.” (more…)
As the League of Education Voters preliminarily reported in mid-February, Washington voters overwhelmingly supported their local school levies. The special election results were certified on February 25.
Of 197 levies, all but three passed, and voters approved $5.5 billion dollars in funding for schools (nearly $4.9 billion for maintenance and operations, $646 million for capital, and $1.7 million for transportation). Of that $5.5 billion approved, $1.49 billion passed thanks to simple majority, a 2007 voter-approved constitutional amendment supported by the League of Education Voters.
Of the 24 bonds that Washington voters were asked to approve, 11 passed, providing an additional $1.5 billion in public education funds. Unlike levies, bonds require a 60 percent voter approval rate.
At the League of Education Voters (LEV), we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state. We are pleased to announce our Activist of the Month for March: Paulina Zepeda. Read more about Paulina’s experience as an advocate and activist.
Paulina Zepeda is a high school student in the Grandview School District. That sounds pretty straightforward, until you learn that Paulina had to advocate to be allowed to attend school.
Paulina immigrated to Grandview from Colima, Mexico, two years ago. She was in high school in Colima, but because she was 18 years old when she arrived in Washington, she was told that she could not continue high school despite having transfer papers with class and grade information.
Paulina kept fighting to be able to attend school, and the school district eventually allowed her to attend but ignored her transcript from Colima and enrolled her in elective classes rather than core credits that would allow her to graduate. (more…)