LEV was founded in 2001 to ensure state lawmakers fulfilled their education promises and the will of the voters.
During the past 12 years, LEV successfully passed a statewide initiative which amended the state constitution to only require a simple majority vote for school levies. LEV also worked to reduce class size by supporting the passage of I-728 and defended an important education revenue source with the defeat of I-1033, aimed at lowering property taxes.
LEV was the lead plaintiff in the successful case to overturn I-1053, the initiative requiring two-thirds legislative approval to raise revenue or close tax loopholes. All of this work is done with the goal of creating a seamless public education system that serves each Washington student.
Legislative and policy accomplishments include:
- Passage of education reform bill ESHB 2261, which calls for all-day kindergarten and a 24-credit high school diploma and has become the roadmap for ensuring adequate K-12 funding;
- Passage of WaKIDS (the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills), an annual inventory to assess Kindergarten readiness being implemented in all state-funded full-day kindergarten classrooms;
- Passage of a law that elevates the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program to ensure that all eligible low-income children receive early learning opportunities;
- Overhaul K-12 teacher and principal evaluation which beginning in 2015-16, requires the use of a four-tier performance system, student growth data, and student and staff input in evaluations, which will be used in lay-offs and assignments;
- Collaboration with the Our Schools Coalition to successfully advocate for changes to the Seattle Public Schools collective bargaining agreement with its teachers union so that for the first time ever, student achievement is connected to teacher performance.
- A successful challenge to Initiative 1053, which required a two-thirds majority to pass revenue or close loopholes in the legislature.