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Education Advocate November 2016

ED Advocate, League of Education Voters Newsletter, November

Greetings

Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

Election Day is finally upon us! If you haven’t already done so, please remember to vote.

This election season, LEV is collaborating with our inspiring partners to create a better future for every Washington student. 

Read below for more about our work.

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

 

 

Chris Korsmo

Art teacher with students - League of Education Voters

Great Teachers Need Great Preparation

Research consistently shows that teachers have the strongest school-based impact on student performance. The impacts of a highly effective teacher or low-performing teacher can affect students for years to come and influence a student’s likelihood of college attendance and persistence. Our educational system must equip teachers with the skill sets required to meet the needs of a student body that is more diverse each year. Read more

Weighted student formula LEVinar - League of Education Voters

Education Funding Takeaways from California

Governor Jerry Brown proposed a new school finance plan for California in the 2013–2014 budget, called “Local Control Funding Formula.” It increased funding to school districts with a larger number of disadvantaged students by financially weighting those students according to need, simplified current byzantine school finance regulations, and gave school districts more autonomy over finances. Sharonne Navas, Executive Director of the Equity in Education Coalition, will visit California to see firsthand how their new system is working. On November 29, she will present her findings and answer your questions on whether California’s new education funding can work in Washington. Register HERE

League of Education Voters November 2016 Activist of the Month Michele Johnston

Activist of the Month

At 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 November: Michele Johnston. Learn about Michele’s work advocating for public education — especially when it comes to creating an environment where every teacher and student has the autonomy to teach, and learn, the way that works best. Read more
 

Superintendent Randy Dorn - League of Education Voters

OSPI Roles and Responsibilities

One of the most important races in today’s election is for the next state Superintendent of Public Instruction. But what does the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) actually do? Randy Dorn, our current state superintendent, and Gil Mendoza, deputy superintendent, answer your questions about OSPI’s role and work, which levers OSPI has to make changes in education policy, and what the community should expect from OSPI. Watch HERE

Senator Andy Hill - League of Education Voters

Remembering Senator Andy Hill

Frank Ordway, former LEV Director of Government Affairs and current Deputy Director at the Washington State Department of Early Learning, remembers Andy Hill, education champion. Read more

Get Involved

COMING UP

February 11, 2017 | Access, Equity, & Excellence: Annual Parent and Community Training, Tukwila Community Center, Tukwila
March 30, 2017 | LEV 2017 Annual Breakfast, Sheraton Hotel, Seattle


LUNCHTIME LEVINARS

November 29, 2016 | Education Funding Takeaways from California, Online webinar


HELP SUPPORT THE LEAGUE OF EDUCATION VOTERS
| Donate online


League of Education Voters

League of Education Voters2734 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
206.728.6448
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Posted in: Activist of the Month, Advocacy and Activism, Blog, Closing the Gaps, Education Advocate, Elections, Funding, LEV News, Teacher Prep

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Listen to the Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidates in Their Own Words

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

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

The League of Education Voters interviewed both candidates for Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Listen to Erin Jones HERE

Listen to Chris Reykdal HERE

Note: The League of Education Voters did not promote or endorse either candidate.

Posted in: Blog, Closing the Gaps, Elections, ESSA, Funding, Higher Education, Media Clips, Podcast, School Discipline, Teacher Prep

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League of Education Voters announces 2016 endorsements

Washington State District map - LEVFor the 2016 general election, the League of Education Voters has endorsed 37 candidates that we believe will help to improve outcomes for our state’s students.  They shared some of our beliefs like the importance of the education continuum, the importance of excellent instruction and the importance of believing every child can succeed.  We are endorsing 37 candidates on both sides of the aisle with whom we share these values.

Governor Jay Inslee says, “I’m thrilled to receive the League of Education Voters endorsement. LEV knows we’ve got to keep working to ensure our children receive the education they need to compete in a rapidly changing global economy that constantly demands new skills. That’s why I worked with both Republicans and Democrats to pass historic and comprehensive improvements to the education our children receive, including implementing all-day kindergarten, lowering class sizes for grades K-3, and cutting tuition at state community colleges, technical colleges, and 4-year schools. I won’t rest until we fulfill our obligation to our kids and grandkids, because I believe every student deserves a good education and an opportunity to fulfill their dreams.”

Below is the list of candidates LEV has endorsed.
To support these candidates, donate to our Political Action Fund today!

Governor Endorsement:  Governor Jay Inslee

Legislative Endorsements:

Candidates for the Senate

District Name Party
1 Guy Palumbo D
3 Andy Billig D
5 Mark Mullet D
9 Mark Schoesler R
10 Barbara Bailey R
16 Maureen Walsh R
18 Ann Rivers R
20 John Braun R
23 Christine Rolfes D
25 Hans Zeiger R
36 Reuven Carlyle D
41 Steve Litzow R

Candidates for the House of Representatives

District Name Party
2 JT Wilcox R
5 Paul Graves R
10 Norma Smith R
13 Tom Dent R
13 Matt Manweller R
21 Lillian Ortiz-Self D
23 Drew Hansen D
25 Melanie Stambaugh R
26 Michelle Caldier R
28 Dick Muri R
29 David Sawyer D
31 Drew Stokesbary R
32 Ruth Kagi D
33 Tina Orwall D
36 Gael Tarleton D
37 Eric Pettigrew D
39 Dan Kristiansen R
40 Kris Lytton D
41 Tana Senn D
41 Judy Clibborn D
43 Frank Chopp D
44 John Lovick D
45 Larry Springer D
47 Pat Sullivan D
47 Brooke Valentine D

Posted in: Blog, Elections

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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, Blog, Elections

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LEV Board votes to oppose I-1366: Another mean-spirited distraction from Tim Eyman

The League of Education Voters (LEV) Board voted to oppose Initiative 1366 on June 23, 2015. I-1366 is sponsored by Tim Eyman and Jack and Mike Fagan and qualified for the ballot today.

The initiative would cut Washington state’s sales tax by one percent, resulting in the loss of approximately one billion dollars per year for the state—unless the Washington State Legislature approves a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote to raise revenue by April 2016. With about sixty-six cents of every sales tax dollar going toward public education, the passage of I-1366 would be disastrous for Washington’s students.

Eyman’s tactics in this initiative are nothing new; he has attempted time and time again to pass initiatives (I-960, I-1053, I-1185) requiring a two-thirds vote to raise or recover revenue. Thanks to the League of Education Voters v. State of Washington court case, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled I-1053 unconstitutional in 2013. Given the outcome of that case, Eyman is now resorting to extortion in an effort to force the Legislature to pass a two-thirds constitutional amendment.

Cutting the sales tax by more than $2 billion per biennium would necessitate devastating cuts to our schools, in violation of the Supreme Court’s McCleary orders and in violation of Article IX of the Washington State Constitution, which instructs the state to make “ample provision” for the education of Washington students.

Our Legislature recently passed one of the best budgets for education in our state’s history. Now is not the time to backtrack on the state’s progress toward an ample, equitable, and stable education system.

Learn more about our partners in opposition of I-1366 at the No on Tim Eyman’s I-1366 website.

Posted in: Blog, Elections, Funding, LEV News, Press Releases & Statements

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Local bond and levy elections raise $1.9B for schools

This February, in nearly 60 local bond and levy elections across the state, Washington voters sent a strong message of support to their local schools by approving 55 school levies, raising more than $817 million dollars for schools.

Sixteen of the 27 bonds passed, raising $1.11 billion for districts across the state. Unlike levies, the passing threshold for bonds is 60 percent. If a simple majority were the threshold, nine other bonds would have passed, raising an additional $694 million for school districts. A bill was introduced this session by Rep. Mia Gregorson to change the passing threshold for bonds to 50 percent, but it did not make it out of the House Education committee.
Of the 55 levies that passed, 44 were for maintenance and operations and raised $804 million total for districts across the state. Eleven of the 55 passed levies are capital levies, which raised more than $12 million for schools.

Eight of the levies passed thanks to simple majority, a 2007 voter-approved constitutional amendment supported by the League of Education Voters. Between 2008 and 2015, nearly $5 billion was raised for schools through local levies.
(more…)

Posted in: Blog, Elections, Funding

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Activist of the Month: Beth Sigall

Doorbelling for Senator Hill. From left: Beth Sigall, Dawn McCravey, Betsy Cohen, Janet Suppes, (unknown), and Sen. Steve Litzow.

Doorbelling for Senator Hill. From left: Beth Sigall, Dawn McCravey, Betsy Cohen, Janet Suppes, (unknown), and Sen. Steve Litzow.

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 December: Beth Sigall. Read more about Beth’s work this fall campaigning for Senator Andy Hill.

You may remember Beth Sigall from April, when she was selected as one of three Activists of the Month in our first-ever “team” award. We honored her in April for her work during the 2014 legislative session, and we’re thrilled to honor her again for her work during the 2014 midterm elections.

Up until now, Beth’s involvement in political campaigns has been limited to policy advising on education issues or work on local levy and bond campaigns. Because she had worked closely with Senator Hill on education over the course of his term, it seemed like a logical next step to get involved directly, on the ground, in his re-election effort. (more…)

Posted in: Activist of the Month, Advocacy and Activism, Blog, Elections, Legislative session, LEV News

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2014 elections re-affirm the importance of compromise, bipartisanship

Frank Ordway

Frank Ordway, Government Relations Director at the League of Education Voters

The 2014 election results are all but certified, so we now have a better idea about the political landscape going into the 2015 legislative session. The second elephant in the room—after McCleary, that is—may be Initiative 1351 (and how we’re going to pay for it), but what the election results reflect, more than anything, is how critical a bipartisan approach will be in the coming legislative session.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate’s majority parties’ holds are slim in their respective chambers, and all parties will need to have a high level of discipline to get very much done during this critical session.

The overarching question, of course, is how we are going to pay for education funding. Initiative 1351 has redefined “basic education,” and the four-year balanced budget legislation requires that the Legislature find funding for McCleary and I-1351 through the next four years—amounting to nearly $7 billion above and beyond current education funding levels.

How do you find that kind of money? Well, the current revenue structure won’t get us there. So, we either need to restructure how revenue (read: taxes) is collected in the state or cut other programs.

If we look to history, we see that legislation with bipartisan support tends to be the strongest and most likely to succeed. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Elections, Featured, Funding, Legislative session, LEV News

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Endorsements announced by the League of Education Voters

The League of Education Voters (LEV) is pleased to announce its endorsements for the 2014 elections.

“Our vision is to improve public education for all students in Washington state, from cradle to career, with ample, equitable, and stable funding,” said LEV CEO Chris Korsmo. “To achieve that vision, our goal is to elect candidates who will be partners in that effort.”

LEV’s endorsement process is conducted by a committee of board and community members who interviewed candidates beginning in May. The LEV Board voted at their June, July, and August meetings to approve the committee’s recommendations for endorsement. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Elections, Featured, LEV News, Press Releases & Statements

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Results certified in levies and bonds elections

As the League of Education Voters preliminarily reported in mid-February, Washington voters overwhelmingly supported their local school levies. The special election results were certified on February 25.

Of 197 levies, all but three passed, and voters approved $5.5 billion dollars in funding for schools (nearly $4.9 billion for maintenance and operations, $646 million for capital, and $1.7 million for transportation). Of that $5.5 billion approved, $1.49 billion passed thanks to simple majority, a 2007 voter-approved constitutional amendment supported by the League of Education Voters.

Of the 24 bonds that Washington voters were asked to approve, 11 passed, providing an additional $1.5 billion in public education funds. Unlike levies, bonds require a 60 percent voter approval rate.

Posted in: Blog, Elections, Funding

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