Archive for June, 2014

A partnership across Washington

Rural Alliance for College Success logoThe Rural Alliance for College Success was recently awarded a three-year, $120,000 grant from College Spark Washington to reduce the number of students who require remedial math in college. Jerry Dyar is a guidance counselor in the Mary Walker School District in Spokane, and he has been a leader in the Rural Alliance partnership for the last four years.

The Rural Alliance is a collaboration among rural school districts in Eastern and Central Washington with a focus on college and career readiness for all students, as well as post-secondary program completion. It began as a collaboration between nine or ten districts in northeastern Washington in 2002 and grew from there.

The alliance is now made up of 51 school districts that have about 35,000 K–12 students between them. The majority of the districts in the alliance have very low-income students, with a population where more than 70 percent of students are free and reduced lunch-eligible (FRL). Forty percent are Latino, and 20–25 percent are English Language Learners (ELL). Jerry also estimates that 10-12 percent of all students live in homes with parents who are migrant workers. (more…)

Posted in: Closing the Gaps

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A definition of basic education worth fighting for

Chris Korsmo, CEO, League of Education VotersChris Korsmo, CEO of the League of Education Voters, submitted an op-ed to The Seattle Times‘ Education Lab yesterday. It was published in The Seattle Times print edition on June 20.

In her column, Chris argues that the definition of “basic education” in Washington is too narrow—it does not include early learning or higher education. Read below for an excerpt, or read the entire column online.

At the League of Education Voters, we support an ample, equitable, stable education funding plan. While we supported the re-definition of “basic education” developed in 2009 (it includes smaller class size, full-day kindergarten, transportation, materials and supplies) upon which McCleary is based, we advocated that the definition should also include early learning and higher education.

During the past two years, we have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the current definition of basic education. It is neither ample nor equitable. And thanks to our over-reliance on local levies, it certainly isn’t stable.

We need a definition of basic education that puts students and their learning at the center.

Read the entire op-ed on The Seattle Times website.

Posted in: Early Learning

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Activist of the Month: Linda Lozano

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 June: Linda Lozano. Read more about her experience as an activist and advocate for her community, her family, and everyone around her.

Linda Lozano testifies to the Office of the Superintendent of Public InstructionIt’s something of an understatement to say that the odds were against Linda Lozano from the very beginning. Born to a teenage mother, Linda essentially raised her younger sister after she was born—and Linda was just seven years old.

Linda learned a “culture of abandonment” from an early age, and she says she was angry for a long time. Linda openly admits that she made a lot of bad choices as a young adult, some of which landed her in jail, and some of which caused her kids to be taken by Child Protective Services.

“Sometimes in life, the stage is set for us. We know we want something different but don’t know how to achieve it,” says Linda.

So Linda set out to learn how to achieve something different. (more…)

Posted in: Activist of the Month

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Kelly Munn Receives Community Leadership Award from Issaquah School District

From Left: WASA 110 President Larry Francois, Kelly Munn, and Issaquah School District Superintendent, Ron Thiele

From Left: WASA 110 President Larry Francois, Kelly Munn, and Issaquah School District Superintendent, Ron Thiele

The Issaquah School District honored League of Education Voters State Field Director Kelly Munn with its Community Leadership Award at the Washington School Administrator’s Association’s regional awards ceremony held at the Puget Sound ESD on May 23, 2014.

Kelly has been an active volunteer in the Issaquah School District and an advocate for public education for many years. Kelly’s leadership has been instrumental in helping the district maintain high quality programs and meet the demands of continued growth as co-chair of the Volunteers for Issaquah Schools Community Bond and Levy Committee. Over the years she has also been very active in PTSA and served on the board of the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

Congratulations to Kelly for this tremendous honor!

Posted in: LEV News

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Making the College and Career Ready Diploma a Reality

By Kelly Munn, State Field Director

A meaningful high school diploma. (Image of graduating students.)The College and Career Ready Diploma became law with the passage of SB 6552 this past legislative session. That was a huge win, and it took many of you to make it happen.

Thank you. Thank you for the emails, the calls, the testimonies, for the late nights you spent working to get the College and Career Ready Diploma passed.

Now we need your help to make sure the diploma works the way it’s supposed to. (more…)

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism

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