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Archive for January, 2016

Side-by-Side Comparison of Washington Promise Program Bills proposed in the House and Senate

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The Washington Promise Program provides a tuition waiver for certain Washington residents to attend one of the 34 community and technical colleges in the state.  Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Senate and House versions.

For all the bills proposed this session, check out our 2016 Bill Tracker.

Posted in: Blog, Higher Education, Legislative session

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Side-by-Side Comparison of Opportunity Gap Bills proposed in the House and Senate

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Three bills concerning closing the opportunity gap have been proposed in the state House and Senate. Here’s how HB 1541 (Santos D-37 and Ortiz-Self D-21) compares with SB 6192 (McCoy D-38 and Rolfes D-23) and SB 6244 (Litzow R-41 and Fain R-47).

For all the bills proposed this session, check out our 2016 Bill Tracker.

Posted in: Blog, Closing the Gaps, Legislative session

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2016 Parent & Community Training Highlights

Thank you to everyone who attended our 2016 Parent and Community Training!  We couldn’t have done it without you.

Check out the slides here by Duncan Taylor, who led a workshop called The Dollar Dance on education funding.

See LEV Field Director Kelly Munn’s Advocacy 101 presentation here.

LEV Senior Policy Analyst Jolenta Coleman’s excellent Financial Aid 101 slides are here.

View the Education Funding presentation slides from LEV Senior Policy Analyst Julia Warth and Policy Analyst Jake Vela here.

We will add more presentation slides as soon as we get them.  In the meantime, here are a few photos:

Jene Jones of LEV Government Relations, Dave Gering of the Manufacturing Industry Council, Thomas Mosby of Highline Public Schools Career Pathways and Partnerships, Chance Gower of Highline Public Schools Career Technical Education, and Highline CTE student Kyla, who is taking dental assistant classes

Beyond High School: A Panel on Career Technical Education featuring Jene Jones of LEV Government Relations, Dave Gering of the Manufacturing Industry Council, Thomas Mosby of Highline Public Schools Career Pathways and Partnerships, Chance Gower of Highline Public Schools Career Technical Education, and Highline CTE student Kyla, who is taking dental assistant classes

 

Robin Tatsuda, Program Supervisor of the Arc of King County's Parent to Parent Support program, leads a worshop on how to advocate for your special needs child

Robin Tatsuda, Program Supervisor of the Arc of King County’s Parent to Parent Support program, leads a workshop on how to advocate for your special needs child

 

Senator Joe Fain (center) is joined by parents and students from Excel and Rainier Prep charter schools for a roundtable on how charter schools have impacted their lives

Senator Joe Fain (center) is joined by parents and students from Excel and Rainier Prep charter schools for a roundtable on how charter schools have impacted their lives

 

Parent Organizing Groups panel featuring LEV Field Director Kelly Munn with parent organizers Margarita, BJ and Fatima

Parent Organizing Groups panel featuring LEV Field Director Kelly Munn with parent organizers Margarita, BJ and Fatima

 

Financial Aid 101 workshop presented by LEV senior policy analyst Jolenta Coleman

Financial Aid 101 workshop presented by LEV senior policy analyst Jolenta Coleman

 

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism, Blog, Events, LEV News

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: Charters pass the Senate but no McCleary Deal

By Chris Korsmo

Chris Korsmo, CEO, League of Education Voters

Friends,

For those of you keeping count, it’s Oly Short Session, day number 10. Fifty days left to find a charter schools fix, prevent cutbacks to Career and Technical Education, address educational inequities and not talk about the elephant in the room, McCleary. But those aren’t the only education issues under consideration. You can find more on the bills introduced so far here.

The session is young, and so was a group of advocates who found themselves on the wrong end of a question normally reserved for parents. Behind closed doors. The content got a little, er, personal this week when a Washington legislator asked a group of teens whether they were virgins. It’s not quite as bad as Presidential hopeful Ben Carson telling a group of school kids to point at the “dumbest kid in the room” but it’s not exactly HIPPA compliant, either.

Charter News: The Senate took up SB 6194, addressing the charter school funding issues, this week. The bill passed out of the chamber on a 27-20 vote, and now moves over to the House. Thanks to Senators Mullet and Litzow for their leadership on the bill and for all who voted to support this effort to keep our charter schools alive and well.

McCleary News: This past week, State Budget Director David Schumacher said out loud what many have thought: no McCleary deal this year. While work is ongoing, including the recommendation for another legislative task force, a final deal isn’t imminent for two significant reasons. First, this isn’t a budget year. A kind of big deal if you’re going to be allocating money in the billions of dollars. Second, it’s an election year, making tax votes pretty tough. It would seem that not many years are great for tax votes… unless you’re voting to limit taxes. Which, as it turns out, is often unconstitutional.

Higher Ed News: A new focus on affordability seems to be the spotlight as a new House bill would make two years of college “accessible and affordable” by paying for community/technical college, and another attempt to make textbooks more affordable. Meanwhile, a new report highlights some success among Washington Community College students who transfer to four year schools completing their degrees. And the college admittance process gets a fresh look.

You can’t chalk it all up to STEM policy, but here’s some news that required STEM degrees:

  • Stephen Hawking scares the living daylights out of us.
  • Look! Up in the sky. It’s a new planet. And five old ones.
  • Dating a computer software engineer? Stop going Dutch.
  • Speaking of software engineers and other tech-based professions, Houston, we have a problem.

There’s more. Oh, so much more. But that’s all the time your intrepid writer has today. Thanks for all you do on behalf of our kids!

Posted in: Blog, Legislative session, Weekly Roundup

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Education Advocate January 2016

Greetings

Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were full of good cheer (and football). Now that 2016 has arrived, it’s full steam ahead into this short but important legislative session. Read our legislative priorities on our website.

I will begin my Weekly Roundup email series tomorrow—sign up via our website to receive those emails.  And do mark your calendar for the morning of March 31.  This year’s annual breakfast focuses on helping students find their personal pathways to career-ready success beyond K-12.  To register, contact Development Manager Jackie Schultz.

Finally, I would like to extend a big thank-you to all of our 2015 donors. You make our work possible. Thanks for all you do for kids. We couldn’t do it without you.
Chris Korsmo signature

 

 

Chris Korsmo

Save the Date for our Annual Breakfast

Save the date for our 2015 Annual Breakfast: March 26, 2015, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.Our 2016 Annual Breakfast, to support the LEV Foundation, will be held Thursday, March 31, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

Join us for a conversation about the skills gap in education with Mike Sotelo, Founder of Consolidar, Plaza Bank and other business ventures, and Will Sarrett, Director of NewTech Skills Center-Spokane. Moderated by Colleen McAleer, President of the Washington Business Alliance. Learn more

Puget Sound Parent & Community Training

Access, Equity, & ExcellencePlease join us at our annual Puget Sound Parent & Community Training. The 2016 training will take place on January 23 at Highline College.

In Last year’s legislative session, elected officials directed over one billion dollars towards K-12 funding.

Where did the billion dollars go? How can you find out?  Panel topics will include:

The importance of career and technical education in meeting the needs of Washington businesses, The status of charter schools in Washington state, Education funding and update on McCleary, Advocacy for families of children with special needs (in English and Spanish),

Financial Aid 101, And a lunchtime panel on parent organizing in King County.

Learn more or register

Celebrating our donors

Thank you!Donations are made to the League of Education Voters (LEV) and the LEV Foundation by individuals, groups, and businesses throughout the community. These generous donations from those who believe in high-quality public education allow us to ensure measurable progress toward LEV’s vision that every student in Washington state has access to an excellent public education that provides the opportunity for success.

We’d like to take a moment to celebrate our supporters who donated to LEV or the LEV Foundation between July 1 and December 31 of last year. Thank you!

Get Involved

COMING UP

January 23, 2016 | Access, Equity, & Excellence: Annual Parent and Community Training, Highline College, Des Moines
March 31, 2016 | 2016 Annual Breakfast, Sheraton Hotel, Seattle


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League of Education Voters

League of Education Voters

2734 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
206.728.6448
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Posted in: Education Advocate, LEV News

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What to expect this 2016 Legislative Session

By Jene Jones, Government Relations

Jene Jones

There is general bi-partisan agreement on 2 things: 60 days to adjournment, in order to raise money and campaign for elections starting on day 61, and there will be budget adjustments for wildfire costs last summer and some caseload increases for social services this year. Beyond that, priorities differ.

The Senate is coming out strong saying there will be a Charter patch that funds the existing Charter schools which converted to ALE, Private, and Homeschool models mid this year, in order for them to continue to serve students who started in those schools in the fall. The family voice has been loud; students have been telling their stories of how their learning needs are being met, they feel like they belong, have choice, and are succeeding at their public Charter schools.

There is a McCleary bill that will obligate the state to fully take on compensation for staff at the state level by the end of the 2017 session. In order to show progress toward the court deadlines, the bill will probably pass this session. The funding for this however, is not a part of the prescribed plan. With 60% of voters telling the legislature they want 2/3 votes in both the House and the Senate to raise taxes through Eyman’s initiative 1366 which passed in November, even in the Legislative districts of 20 Democrat members in the House, tax increases for McCleary will be a tough vote to bring to the floor. In addition, if lawmakers do nothing with I-1366 (asking for a 2/3rds vote in House & Senate to raise taxes), starting on April 15, 2016 sales tax will lower by 1%, and the state will lose a billion dollars every year to the general fund, which funds education. (I-1366 is being legally challenged.) As perspective: The transportation package which passed last year did not have 2/3 vote in the House. 2/3rds votes are hard in a legislature with: 73 Rs, 73 Ds, and one D that caucuses with the Rs.

Policy for education will include other robust discussions in 2016: 1. Individualizing student pathways and addressing the Skills Gap through Career Tech coursework in Junior High and High Schools, and 2. Assessment and if it should remain linked to graduation requirements (HB 2214). For schools: How do you use the assessment results to meet the learning needs of your students, and assure all graduates are career/college ready?

Let’s focus 2016 on students. Student needs. Student outcomes. Student choice.

Posted in: Blog

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Celebrating our 2015 Donors: Third and Fourth Quarter

July 1–December 31, 2015

2015 has been a great year!

Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors who gave generously.Thank you

Donations are made to the League of Education Voters (LEV) and the League of Education Voters Foundation by individuals, groups, and businesses throughout the community. These generous donations from those who believe in high-quality public education allow us to ensure measurable progress toward LEV’s vision that every student in Washington state has access to an excellent public education that provides the opportunity for success.

We regret any omissions or errors to the donor list. Please contact our Development Manager, Jackie Schultz, by emailing jackie@educationvoters.org or by calling 206.728.6448 with any questions or to correct any information. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Development

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