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A World of Opportunities

The First Annual Washington State Charter Schools Association Conference, May 8-9, 2014The first annual Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) Conference is right around the corner, and the League of Education Voters (LEV) is excited to be a part of it—we invite you to register and join us there! The conference will be held May 8 and 9, with an action-packed schedule of workshops and speakers.

With so many opportunities ahead, there couldn’t be a better time for WA Charters’ first annual conference, A World of Opportunities: Putting Washington on the Map. Featuring national and regional leaders in the charter school movement, this conference will give participants the opportunity to play a critical role, first-hand, in building what will become a legacy of public charter schools throughout the state. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Closing the Gaps, Events, LEV News

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Making sure the new discipline law works

Katie MosehauerKatie Mosehauer, Executive Director of Washington Appleseed, recently spoke with Steve Scher at KUOW about the new Washington state school discipline law, and how the changes affect schools, students, and parents.

Every year, thousands of Washington students are excluded from school. Students of color, low-income students, and special education students are disciplined at higher rates than other students, which contribute to Washington’s opportunity and achievement gaps. Higher rates of suspensions and expulsions lead to higher dropout rates, increases in grade repetition, and a rise in incarceration rates.

(more…)

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism, Blog, School Discipline

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The Battle over School Funding

The Battle over School Funding: The Legislature v. The Supreme Court; May 1, 2014, 12 PM, SeattleEarlier this year, the State Supreme Court ordered the Washington legislature to provide a plan by April 30, 2014 for fixing the state’s unconstitutional education funding system. The McCleary v. Washington decision found that the state was violating its constitutional obligation to amply fund basic education and gave lawmakers a 2018 deadline to fix this violation.

In a recent legal analysis of the case, Judge Phil Talmadge, former State Supreme Court Justice (1995–2001), wrote that the Court’s decision to “retain jurisdiction to monitor legislative compliance” represents “uncharted waters” for the state. Judge Talmadge lays out a number of potential outcomes in his analysis of this legislative-judicial battle over school funding, writing: “The issue presented here is not one of whether the Court has the power… to order compliance with its McCleary opinion. It does. The more basic and nuanced question is whether it is wise to exercise that power.” (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Funding, LEV News

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