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Archive for March, 2016

Photos from the 2016 Annual Breakfast

Thank you for making the 2016 Annual Breakfast a success!

We enjoyed a thoughtful conversation about helping our kids create personal pathways for success with Lake Washington Institute of Technology President Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, Will Sarett, Director of the NewTech Skill Center, and Mike Sotelo, Co-Founder of the Combined Ethnic Chamber, moderated by Washington Business Alliance President Colleen McAleer.

The panel emphasized the need for preparation, support and high expectation for our kids.  Dr. Amy Morrison Goings said, “Two-thirds of all jobs will require a certificate or degree.  We need to ensure that our kids are ready.

LEV believes in providing supports for our kids to graduate from high school ready for college and career.  As aging workers retire, there will soon be tens of thousands of opportunities available in the trades.  We need to make sure our kids see the relevance and excitement of their coursework so they can enroll in and complete two- and four-year degrees and certificates, which will give them more options for a prosperous future.

Here are the questions the League of Education Voters is grappling with:

–        How should we work to expand rigorous Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

–        How do we help our kids get to and complete higher education?

This is an ongoing national conversation.  Career and Technical Education (CTE) is the new “Race to the Top” in education circles, highlighting great opportunities and the challenges of meeting students where they are.

Listen to CEO Chris Korsmo’s speech.  And here are a few photos from the event:

Our rockstar panelists (l-r): Will Sarett, Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, Mike Sotelo and moderator Colleen McAleer

Our rockstar panelists (l-r): Will Sarett, Dr. Amy Morrison Goings, Mike Sotelo and moderator Colleen McAleer

LEV Breakfast (4)

LEV Board Member Thelma Jackson greets guests

LEV Breakfast (6)

LEV staff members Jene Jones and Cindy Raffety at the check-in table

LEV Breakfast (9)

Senator Mark Mullet was among many elected officials from all levels of local and state government

LEV Breakfast (12)

95-year-old Georgie Kunkle was a Rosie the Riveter during WWII and landed helicopters on school playgrounds to show girls they could fly

LEV Breakfast (16)

LEV State Field Director Kelly Munn in action

LEV Breakfast (18)

LEV Communications Director Arik Korman served as MC, asking guests to share thoughts on our strategic planning process

LEV Breakfast (22)

LEV CEO Chris Korsmo emphasizes the importance of helping kids build a bridge from high school to college and career

LEV Breakfast (23)

LEV Board Secretary Vange Ocasio shares her personal education journey

Posted in: Events

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The Opportunity Gap Bill is now Law!

Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1541, which addresses the Opportunity Gap.  Here are highlights from the ceremony at Aki Kurose Middle School library.

Governor Jay Inslee signs Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541 into law, with (l-r) Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Rep. Tina Orwall

Governor Jay Inslee signs Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541 into law, with (l-r) Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Rep. Tina Orwall

League of Education Voters board treasurer Kevin Washington kicked things off as the MC

League of Education Voters board treasurer Kevin Washington kicked things off as the MC

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, chair of the House Education Committee, talks about the significance of her opportunity gap bill becoming law

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, chair of the House Education Committee, talks about the significance of her opportunity gap bill becoming law

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self shares her experiences seeing the opportunity gap firsthand as a middle school counselor

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self shares her experiences seeing the opportunity gap firsthand as a middle school counselor

Washington state Middle School Principal of the Year Mia Williams talks about the importance of closing gaps

Washington state Middle School Principal of the Year Mia Williams of Aki Kurose Middle School talks about the importance of closing gaps

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the crowd at Aki Kurose Middle School before signing Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the crowd at Aki Kurose Middle School before signing Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541

Governor Jay Inslee congratulates Aki Kurose Middle School students after he signed Opportunity Gap HB 1541

Governor Jay Inslee congratulates Aki Kurose Middle School students after he signed Opportunity Gap HB 1541

Posted in: Legislative session

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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidate Forums

Olympia - LEV OSPI Superintendent Meeting

Candidates who want to lead Washington’s school system as its next superintendent will speak at forums around the state.  If you know of any other scheduled OSPI candidate forums, please email info to LEV Communications Director Arik Korman

OSPI candidates advancing to the general election November 8:

  • Erin Jones, a Tacoma Public Schools administrator. Listen to her interview with LEV HERE
  • State Representative Chris Reykdal (D-22). Listen to his interview with LEV HERE
Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Erin Jones (L) and Chris Reykdal

Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Erin Jones (L) and Chris Reykdal

Date Location Time Address

If you are unable to attend a live candidate forum, TVW will carry them. Info HERE

Watch the October 5th Woodinville candidate forum HERE

Note: The League of Education Voters is not promoting or endorsing either candidate.

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism

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Public Charter Schools ESSB 6194 as Amended in the House

Many students created their own signs

On March 9th, 2016, the House of Representatives amended and passed ESSB 6194, a new charter school law. On March 10th, 2016, the Senate concurred with the House’s changes and passed the bill. The bill now awaits Governor Inslee’s signature. The bill reenacts provisions of Initiative 1240 and makes changes to the charter school system to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling on charter schools in September of 2015. This bill will allow the current schools to stay open and new schools to be established in the future, providing more options for Washington’s students and families.

See the details of ESSB 6194 here

Posted in: Legislative session

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Education Advocate March 2016

ED Advocate, League of Education Voters Newsletter, March 2016

Greetings

Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

It is just three weeks until our Annual Breakfast! Thank you to those who have already registered to attend. If you have not had a chance to register yet, there’s still time!

If you are following the grand finale of our legislative session, make sure you have our education bill tracker bookmarked. You can also sign up to receive my Weekly Roundup Friday emails.

Finally, I would like to extend a big thank-you to all of you who have volunteered over the past 60 days. You make our work come to life.

Thanks for all you do for kids. We couldn’t do it without you.
Chris Korsmo signature

 

 

Chris Korsmo

Don’t miss our Annual Breakfast

Save the date for our 2016 Annual Breakfast: March 31, 2016, 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 an inspirational conversation about how we can match our kids’ interests and skills with the needs of today’s workforce with Mike Sotelo, founder of Consolidar and co-founder of the Combined Ethnic ChamberDr. Amy Morrison Goings, President of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and Will Sarrett, Director of NewTech Skill Center in Spokane, moderated by Colleen McAleer, President of the Washington Business Alliance.  Learn more

LEV’s Activist of the Month

Sharon TaubelAt the League of Education Voters, 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: Darcelina Soloria.

Read about Darcelina’s work advocating for public education — especially what public charter schools can do for our kids — and learn about her personal journey.  Read more

Thank you to Representatives who voted Yes on Public Charter Schools Senate Bill 6194

Public Charter Schools Rally Feb 25, 2016Last night, the House voted 58-39 to pass Senate Bill 6194, a long-term solution to keep public charter schools open.  The bill is off to the Senate for concurrence and then to Governor Inslee’s desk.  Here are the legislators who voted yes, in case you would like to thank them.  See the list

2016 Legislative Session: The Home Stretch

2016 Legislative Session: The Home Stretch

Find out the latest on McCleary, public charter schools, the supplemental budget, opportunity gap closure, and which proposals are alive and which are dead. 

Jene Jones, League of Education Voters Government Relations, answered your questions on what we can do to help our goals this session reach the finish line.  We were also joined by Senators Mark Mullet (D-5) and Ann Rivers (R-18).  Moderated by our State Field Director, Kelly Munn.  Watch the archived recording

Get Involved

COMING UP

March 31, 2016 | 2016 Annual Breakfast, Sheraton Hotel, Seattle


LUNCHTIME LEVINARS

March 3, 2016 | The 2016 Legislative Session: The Home Stretch, Online webinar archive recording featuring LEV’s Jene Jones and Kelly Munn, along with Senators Mark Mullet and Ann Rivers


HELP SUPPORT THE LEAGUE OF EDUCATION VOTERS
| Donate online


League of Education Voters

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Posted in: Education Advocate

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Thank you to Representatives who voted Yes on Public Charter Schools Senate Bill 6194

Students practice their chants for legislators

Last night, the House voted 58-39 to pass Senate Bill 6194, a long-term solution to keep public charter schools open.  The bill is off to the Senate for concurrence and then to Governor Inslee’s desk.  Here are the legislators who voted yes, in case you would like to thank them:

House Democrats

Name District Email Phone
Clibborn 41 judy.clibborn@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7926
Hurst 31 christopher.hurst@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7866
Kagi 32 ruth.kagi@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7910
Lytton 40 kristine.lytton@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7800
Morris 40 jeff.morris@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7970
Pettigrew 37 eric.pettigrew@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7838
Sawyer 29 david.sawyer@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7906
Senn 41 tana.senn@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7894
Springer 45 larry.springer@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7822
Sullivan 47 pat.sullivan@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7858

House Republicans

Name District Email Phone
Barkis 2 andrew.barkis@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7824
Buys 42 vincent.buys@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7854
Caldier 26 michelle.caldier@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7802
Chandler 15 bruce.chandler@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7960
Condotta 12 cary.condotta@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7954
DeBolt 20 richard.debolt@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7896
Dent 13 tom.dent@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7932
Dye 9 mary.dye@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7942
Griffey 35 dan.griffey@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7966
Haler 8 larry.haler@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7986
Hargrove 47 mark.hargrove@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7918
Harmsworth 44 mark.harmsworth@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7892
Harris 17 paul.harris@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7976
Hawkins 12 brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7832
Hayes 10 dave.hayes@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7914
Hickel 30 teri.hickel@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7830
Holy 6 jeff.holy@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7962
Johnson 14 norm.johnson@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7810
Klippert 8 brad.klippert@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7882
Kochmar 30 linda.kochmar@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7898
Kretz 7 joel.kretz@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7988
Kristiansen 39 dan.kristiansen@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7967
MacEwen 35 drew.macewen@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7902
Magendanz 5 chad.magendanz@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7876
Manweller 13 matt.manweller@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7808
McCabe 14 gina.mccabe@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7856
McCaslin 4 bob.mccaslin@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7820
Muri 28 dick.muri@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7890
Nealey 16 terry.nealey@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7828
Orcutt 20 ed.orcutt@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7990
Parker 6 kevin.parker@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7922
Pike 18 liz.pike@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7812
Rodne 5 jay.rodne@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7852
Schmick 9 joe.schmick@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7844
Scott 39 elizabeth.scott@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7816
Shea 4 matt.shea@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7984
Short 7 shelly.short@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7908
Smith 10 norma.smith@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7884
Stambaugh 25 melanie.stambaugh@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7948
Stokesbary 31 drew.stokesbary@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7846
Taylor 15 david.taylor@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7874
Van Werven 42 luanne.vanwerven@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7980
Vick 18 brandon.vick@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7850
Walsh 16 maureen.walsh@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7836
Wilcox 2 jt.wilcox@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7912
Wilson 17 lynda.wilson@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7994
Young 26 jesse.young@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7964
Zeiger 25 hans.zeiger@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7968

Posted in: Legislative session

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: The Home Stretch

Chris Korsmo, CEO, League of Education Voters

Chris Korsmo

Friends,

You know that I’m a fan of football and a huge fan of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. His post-game victory speech almost always begins thus: “Do we win the game in the first quarter? (NO!) Do we win it in the second quarter? Do we win the game in the third quarter? No. We win the game in the fourth quarter.” Well folks, as it relates to the legislative session, we are firmly in the throes of the fourth quarter and fast approaching the two-minute warning.

With less than a week to go, much remains to be done. That list includes a fix for our charter schools, wildfires, a supplemental budget and myriad education issues. The one thing that has made it past the finish line is the McCleary task force bill that the Governor signed on Monday – the hope being that the task force satisfies the Supreme Court’s ruling requiring a plan for full funding. You can get more detail about the role of the task force here.  All bill movement and descriptions can be found here.

Speaking of the budget, both budgets have passed their respective chambers (HB 2376 & SB 6246). Significant differences remain regarding the use of the Rainy Day Fund – the House is transferring $318 million from the Rainy Day Fund and the Senate is transferring $0. Required spending is eating up most of the additional revenue, leaving few resources to enhance or expand programs, which further complicates matters. The estimated additional required spending is expected to be approximately $360 million:

  • $235 million – Forest fires and related recovery efforts
  • $124 million – Court mandated healthcare spending and higher than expected healthcare costs

Session is set to expire at midnight Thursday and everyone wants to get out to start the campaign season. A special session isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but doesn’t fall into the realm of the desirable. What is desirable is final action on a handful of bills that made it out of the opposite chamber this week, including:

  • HB 1345 – Defining professional learning for educators
  • HB 1999 – Improving educational outcomes for foster youth
  • SB 6466 – Concerning student services for students with disabilities in higher education.

Here are bills that passed out of opposite chamber, but still have some differences to be worked out before getting to the Governor’s desk:

  • SB 6601 – Washington College Savings Program
  • HB 1682 – Increasing educational outcomes for homeless students

We are still in the thick of it on charter schools. Kids and parents have burned up the concrete turning out in Olympia and most mainstream media are in support of a fix. All attention is turned now to the House where the next action must be taken.

It’s looking less likely that we’ll get the funding fix we need for Career and Technical Education (CTE), unless a rabbit and a hat are part of the final budget negotiations. Which is a shame, because our kids need improved access to CTE – it is the bridge to the world after high school for many.

In other news:

  • The higher education bottleneck is one more indicator of disparity.
  • I’m going to eschew the standard adjectives that often attach themselves to the current front runners for the White House. And instead, give you their education platforms, ideology, and just musings.
  • Ok, RubioCruz, and Sanders, too.
  • It’s not too late to celebrate Seuss’ birthday.

Ok folks, that’s it for the week. But don’t turn away – next week will be past us in a heartbeat and there’s a LOT left to do. Enjoy your weekend, hug your children, and thanks for all you do for Washington’s kids.

Chris and Team LEV

Posted in: Weekly Roundup

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Update to Side-by-Side Comparison of McCleary Education Funding Taskforce Proposals

FB Kids Cover Photo

The Senate and House came to an agreement on how to move forward in fulfilling their constitutional responsibility to fully fund education.  The Legislature delivered Senate Bill 6195 (Rivers R-18, Rolfes D-23) to Gov. Inslee, which he signed into law on February 29.  SB 6195 is the Legislature’s attempt to comply with the most recent order by the State Supreme Court in which the court found the Legislature in contempt for inadequate progress in funding basic education and complying with the McCleary decision.  The Court levied a fine of $100,000 per day on the Legislature until there is a solution.

Learn about the process going forward and what the legislation does and doesn’t do.

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

Posted in: Legislative session

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Activist of the Month: Darcelina Soloria

March 2016 Activist of the Month Darcelina Soloria

March 2016 Activist of the Month Darcelina Soloria

Darcelina Soloria met LEV Policy Director Amy Liu in October 2015 after Amy sent out public charter school information to parents.  Darcelina was moved to take action and led a phone bank effort in December, organizing 15 people who each made 10 calls in a single night.

Since then, Darcelina has led 5 more phone bank events where she encouraged fellow volunteers to make 15 calls each time, urging legislators to support a fix for public charter schools.

Darcelina’s own public school education went without a hitch until high school, where she was able to pass algebra only because of help from a classmate.  Her math teacher was emotionally unavailable and did not offer any extra support.  She also did not know how to write a paper.

As you can imagine, Darcelina was paralyzed when she started community college.  But thanks to instructors that were a better fit, she surprised herself by earning an A in English.  She transferred to 4-year institution right out of community college and continued her upward learning trajectory with an A in English 101 out of the gate.

Darcelina realized her troubles in high school weren’t her fault – she just didn’t have the right teachers to match her learning style.  Now she has an accounting degree.

Darcelina and her husband hadn’t planned on having children.  When she found out she was pregnant with her son, it was a big surprise.  She started thinking about educational options but lived in Hillyard, a Spokane neighborhood not associated with good public schools.  And she couldn’t afford private school.

When looking at kindergarten prospects, Darcelina thought about Montessori but found Spokane International Academy, a public charter school that opened in Hillyard last year to help that historically underserved community.  Darcelina applied and was thrilled when her son got in.

Darcelina appreciates the school’s focus in on kids and how they learn.  She also is impressed by SIA Head of School Travis Franklin’s goal of helping students become community-minded and globally-oriented.

In kindergarten, her son is now speaking Spanish and writing papers.  When he started, he was at pre-K level.  By the time he gets to 8th grade, Darcelina believes he will have a clear understanding of how he can become a great citizen locally, statewide and globally.

Darcelina and her son don’t want to see their school taken away.  Darcelina says, “If we look at charters as a learning environment, why don’t we roll them out in other places?  These are pockets of where we can learn how to better teach our kids.”

Posted in: Activist of the Month

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