League of Education Voters http://educationvoters.org Building a quality public education system from cradle to career. Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:35:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 McCleary Resources http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/22/mccleary-resources/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/22/mccleary-resources/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 20:25:01 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=26065 In McCleary v. State of Washington, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the State of Washington is violating the constitutional rights of students by failing to amply fund basic education. The Court ordered the Legislature to make “steady, real, and measurable” progress each year to fully fund K-12 public education by 2018.  Below are resources that will help clarify the debate over education funding.

Definition of Basic Education

Glossary of Key Education Terms

Presentations on education funding by the LEV Policy Team:

  1. I Can See McClear-ly Now: A look at the education funding debate in Washington, gives you an in-depth look at how we got where we are today.
  2. We Can Work it Out: A long and winding road to funding basic education, covers whether our current education funding structure is fair and whether the system benefits all kids.

LEVinar on The McCleary Task Force: What to Expect Archived Recording | Presentation Slides

McCleary Education Funding Task Force Duties and Responsibilities

Senate Bill 6195, which created the Education Funding Task Force

Our view on NPR Education’s School Money series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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What Is Basic Education? http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/13/what-is-basic-education/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/13/what-is-basic-education/#respond Wed, 13 Jul 2016 18:45:16 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=26014 Classroom Students

By the LEV Policy Team

In Washington state, it is the state’s “paramount duty” to fund a program of basic education for all students. It is the Legislature’s responsibility to define that program of basic education. The Legislature has established goals for the education system, as well as a program intended to achieve those goals. The program of basic education can be changed and added to. It may only be reduced for educational reasons, not financial reasons. The instructional program of basic education is provided through the K-12 system, as well as in juvenile detention facilities, residential facilities, and adult correctional facilities (RCW 28A.150.200).

The Goals of Basic Education (RCW 28A.150.210)

  1. Read with comprehension, write effectively, and communicate successfully in a variety of ways and settings and with a variety of audiences;
  2. Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical, and life sciences; civics and history, including different cultures and participation in representative government; geography; arts; and health and fitness;
  3. Think analytically, logically, and creatively, and to integrate technology literacy and fluency as well as different experiences and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems; and
  4. Understand the importance of work and finance and how performance, effort, and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities.

The Program of Basic Education (RCW 28A.150.220)

The program of basic education is the legislatively defined basic education that the state must fully fund. Districts must use state funding to provide all of the following components to students.


•   1,000 hours of instruction for full-day Kindergarten (being phased in)

•   1,000 hours of instruction for grades 1-8 (districtwide average)*

•   1,080 hours of instruction for grades 9-12 (districtwide average)*

•   At least 180 school days

*Can be calculated as districtwide average of 1,027 hours grades 1-12


•    Instruction in the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (adopted by Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction)

o The Arts

o English Language Arts (Common Core)

o English Language Proficiency

o Early Learning

o Math (Common Core)

o Science

o Social Studies

o Educational Technology

o Health and Physical Education

o Integrated Environment and Sustainability

o World Languages

•    The opportunity to complete 24 credits for a high school diploma


•   Learning Assistance Program—supplemental instruction for “underachieving” students

•   Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program—supplemental instruction for English Language Learners

•   Special Education—appropriate education and supports for students with disabilities

•   Highly Capable Program—programs for highly capable students

•   Transportation (RCW 28A.150.200)

Components provided in the prototypical school funding formula (RCW 28A.150.260), such as Materials, Supplies, and Operating Costs (MSOC) or specific staffing ratio­­s do not constitute the program of basic education. They represent the Legislature’s assumptions of what resources are required to provide the program of basic education, but districts may choose to deliver the program in a different way.

Basic Education Compliance

Each district must certify to the State Board of Education that it is providing students with the minimum requirements of the basic education act. Districts must report that they provide:

  • K-12 students with 180 days of instruction
  • Kindergarten students with either 450 or 1,000 instructional hours, depending on full-day Kindergarten phase-in
  • Grades 1-8 students with a districtwide average of 1,000 instructional hours and grades 9-12 students with a districtwide average of 1,080 instructional hours, OR a districtwide average of 1,027 hours across grades 1-12
  • The opportunity to complete a 24-credit high school diploma

Instructional Hours: the definition of instructional hour is time in the school day from the beginning of the first period class to the end of the last period class, except for time spent on meals. Passing time and recess are counted as instructional time.

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Comments to OSPI regarding proposed revisions to the Teacher & Principal Evaluation Program (TPEP) http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/08/comments-to-ospi-regarding-proposed-revisions-to-the-teacher-principal-evaluation-program-tpep/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/08/comments-to-ospi-regarding-proposed-revisions-to-the-teacher-principal-evaluation-program-tpep/#respond Fri, 08 Jul 2016 17:40:07 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=26006 July 7, 2016

Sue Anderson
Director of Educator Effectiveness
600 Washington St SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Dear Ms. Anderson,

By this letter, the League of Education Voters (LEV) is providing comments on the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s proposed revisions to Washington Administrative Code 392-191A, regarding the Teacher & Principal Evaluation Program, that will be discussed at the July 7, 2016 OSPI rules hearing. LEV supports efforts to create a more meaningful evaluation system that drives continuous improvement and has some concerns regarding the proposed changes to the current rules and the rulemaking process.

I. Transparency & Community Engagement

Transparency and community engagement should be embedded in the process for updating the rules governing TPEP and should be reflected in the updated rules adopted by OSPI.

  • The lack of public and stakeholder engagement outside of the steering committee members is a We appreciate the time and work the steering committee has undoubtedly devoted to this topic. For any individuals or organizations not on the steering committee, however, it is very difficult to know about any changes that are being considered. We became aware of the proposed revisions less than 48 hours before the hearing will be taking place. Many stakeholders beyond the steering committee were involved in the legislation creating TPEP and many more beyond that may be interested. More meaningful outreach and engagement should be done with families, students, and communities.
  • Given that low-income students and students of color are usually served by less experienced teachers and are in schools with higher teacher turnover, has there been any analysis on whether these proposed changes would have a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color?
  • It is unclear in the proposed language how focused evaluation scores will be The draft rules propose that a comprehensive evaluation rating will be the rating on record for a teacher when they are on a focused evaluation, but remain silent on how this will impact reporting of scores earned on the focused evaluations. Consistent with current practice, we believe that all scores earned though comprehensive or focused evaluations should be reported to OSPI, and this practice should be clarified in the new rule.

II. Continuous Improvement and Consistency in the Process

The evaluation system and its complementary components should consistently reflect a philosophy of continuous improvement that focuses on improving teacher and principal quality to better support students in their educational experience.

  • To remain consistent with the philosophy of continuous improvement, the focused evaluations should drive towards growth in areas that would most improve instructional practice and student The rules should establish and clarify that when an evaluator selects a criteria for the focused evaluation the criteria selected should be determined by which focus area would most improve an individual’s instructional practice.
  • Do the proposed changes create a system where a teacher’s evaluation score of record can be improved but not lowered through the focused evaluation? If so, we feel this and should be A teacher or principal’s score of record should either 1) remain constant between comprehensive evaluations to enable a focus on areas with the greatest potential for growth or 2) be adjustable (either higher or lower) between comprehensive evaluations.
  • Do the proposed changes to the definition of ‘observe or observation’ create the possibility for no actual classroom observations to take place? What is the minimum criteria for what counts as an observation? A minimum floor should be established for what constitutes an observation that supports districts that want to implement more robust evaluations and feedback for teachers and principals to support them in their professional growth.

Thank you for your work and for your consideration.


Amy Y. Liu
Policy Director

League of Education Voters
2734 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

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Education Advocate July 2016 http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/07/education-advocate-july-2016-2/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/07/07/education-advocate-july-2016-2/#respond Thu, 07 Jul 2016 23:08:27 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=25996 ED Advocate, League of Education Voters Newsletter, July 2016


Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

Summer is in full swing and hopefully you’re able to enjoy the Great Northwest and beyond with your family.  Here in LEV land, we’re gearing up for the upcoming legislative session and thought you might like a glossary of key education terms, which you can read here.

Looking ahead, we are hosting free Lunchtime LEVinars on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) July 19 and 21, featuring longtime Tukwila School Board Member and education guru Mary Fertakis. Join us to learn more about what this important federal law means for our kids.

One of the most important elections this year is for the next Superintendent of Public Instruction.  LEV is involved in two candidate forums – Seattle July 19 and Pasco July 25.  Take advantage of a great opportunity to meet and ask questions of the people who want to run Washington’s schools.

I am pleased to announce the release of our 2015 annual report, Finding a Way Forward. 2015 was a successful year as we worked to improve public education throughout Washington state, and we couldn’t have done it without your support. 

Finally, I would like to extend a big thank-you to all of our second quarter donors. You make our work possible. 

Thanks for all you do for kids.

Chris Korsmo signature



Chris Korsmo

Finding a Way Forward

2015 Annual Report: Finding a Way ForwardAt the League of Education Voters, we believe a student’s education should be a continuum with seamless transitions. 2015 was a successful year as we worked to improve public education throughout Washington state. We are pleased to release our 2015 annual report, Finding a way forward, and we invite you to read highlights from the past year. Read more

Free Lunchtime LEVinars July 19 and 21

ESSA LEVinars July 19 and 21

The new Every Student Succeeds Act, which takes full effect in the 2017-18 school year, rolls back much of the federal government’s big footprint in education policy, on everything from testing and teacher quality to low-performing schools. And it gives new leeway to states in calling the shots. That’s a big change from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which ESSA replaced and updated.

In this two-part LEVinar series, Tukwila School Board Member (and LEV June Activist of the Month) Mary Fertakis will answer your questions on how ESSA will affect education in Washington state and what it could do for civil rights and equity. Moderated by our State Field Director, Kelly Munn. Register here

OSPI Candidate Forums July 19 and 25

OSPI Candidate ForumsCandidates who want to lead Washington’s school system as its next superintendent will speak at forums around the state. LEV is co-sponsoring a candidate forum in Seattle at 5:15pm Tuesday, July 19 and we’re hosting a candidate forum in Pasco at 6:00pm Monday, July 25. Learn more

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 April 1 and June 30 of this year. Thank you!

Get Involved


July 19, 2016 | OSPI Candidate Forum, New Holly Gathering Hall, Seattle
July 25, 2016 | OSPI Candidate Forum, LEV Pasco Office, Pasco


July 19 and 21, 2016 | Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): What You Need to Know, Online webinar

| Donate online

League of Education Voters

League of Education Voters2734 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
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Celebrating our 2016 Donors: Second Quarter http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/29/celebrating-our-2016-donors-second-quarter/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/29/celebrating-our-2016-donors-second-quarter/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:59:22 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=25984 April 1–June 30, 2016

Thank youWe are excited about the way 2016 is evolving. Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors who gave generously at our annual breakfast on March 31, 2016!

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 regret any omissions or errors to the donor list. Please contact our Major Gifts Director, Robin Engle, by emailing robin@educationvoters.org or by calling 206.728.6448 with any questions or to correct any information.

Donor Names

AGC Education Foundation Willie Aikens Patricia Akiyama
Aaron Anderson Annette Anderson Anonymous (7)
Kyle Angelo Apex Foundation Leann Arend and John Cocci
Annie Laurie Armstrong Jim and Lesley Austin Janis Avery and Mary Kabrich
Mona H. Bailey Pamela Belyea Paul and Beth Berendt
Bonnie Buekema Kathy and Bill Binder Libuse Binder
Stephan Blanford Karen Blasdel Frank Blethen
Bob and Lisa Rivers Fund Boeing Matching Gift Alex Bond
John Bonner Rosemary Brester Jon Bridge
Jane Broom Brown Family Foundation Larry Brown
Bill Bryant Judy Buckmaster Darcy Burner
Terry Byington Chris Cannon Lee Caylor
Michael Cheever Stephanie Cherrington Lisa Chick
Child Care Resources Chong & Co. LLC-Hyuna Chong Betsy Cohen
Jolenta Coleman and James Bush Committee for Children John Creighton III
Steven Daschle Maud Daudon Paige Davis
Jessica de Barros Tania de Sa Campos Karen Debruler
Lisa Decker Christen Dickerson Lisa and Bob Donegan
Dovetailing Kori Dunaway Wendy Durst
Susann Edmond Ellison Foundation Ken Emmil
Susan Enfield Robin Engle Kati Erwert
Walter Euyang Cary Evans Fred Felleman
Mary Fertakis Fidelity Charitable Gifts Robin Fleming
Noel Frame Tom Franta Rich Fukutaki
Mark Funk Joe Gaffney Dennis Gerlitz
David Giuliani Michael Golden Thomas Goldstein
Elena Gomez Barry Goren Jon Gould
Paul Graves Joe Gretsch Ryan Groshong
Tom Gurr Cathy and David Habib Cyrus Habib
Tom Halverson Dena Handelman Mike Harford
George Harris Eileen Harrity and Jason Drury Sally Heilstedt
Lauri Hennessey Lindsay Hill Kathryn Hobbs
Charles Hoff Nancy and Hoover Hopkins Daniel and Tami Horner
John Horvick Emily Hudson Mike Hudson
Ross Hunter Kim Infinger Debrena Jackson Gandy and Adera Gandy
Brianna Jackson Dr. Thelma Jackson Marty Jacobs
Beverly B. Jacobson Nathan James Deborah Jaquith
Betsy Johnson Katherine Jolly Jene Jones
Erin and Brad Kahn Ken Kanikeberg Lynn Kessler
Jillian Kilby Bill Kiolbasa Arik Korman
Alison Krupnick Patty Kuderer Lee Lambert
Landsman & Fleming LLP Dave Larson Steve and Janet Leahy
Learner First LLC. David Lewis Senator Steve Litzow
Amy Y. Liu Lisa and Ross Macfarlane William MacGeorge
Peter Maier Angus Mairs Diana Marker
Bernie Matsuno Kristina Mayer Kevin McCarthy
Bruce McCaw Catherine McConnell Marian and David McDermott
Rob McKenna Margaret Meyers Dr. Holly Moore
Vernon Moore Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust Pam Morris
Dr. Amy Morrison Goings Anne Mulherkar Senator Mark Mullet
Kelly Ann Munn Subarna Nagra My Tam H. Nguyen
Dean Nielsen Scott and Susan Nielsen Lisa Nitze
Jessica Norouzi Roxana Norouzi Robert and Maureen O’Hara
Michael and Alexandria O’Neill Dr. and Mr. Ocasio Hochheimer John Odland
Erin Okuno Colleen Oliver Frank Ordway
Melissa Pailthorp Alan Painter Deborah and Jeff Parsons
Adil Marrakchi and Concie Pedroza Pemco Mutual Insurance Company Gifford Pinchot
Thomas B. Pitchford Irene Plenefisch Lora Poepping
Karen Porterfield David Powell Tanya Powers
Mitch Price Sharon Prill Deeann Puffert
Pyramid Communications Raikes Foundation Sheri Ranis
Randy Ray Walter Reese Caleb Richmond
Rowley Properties Lauren Sancken Naria and John Santa Lucia
Megan Sather Juliette Schindler Kelly Ted Schneider
Senator Mark Schoesler Peter Schrappen Jackie Schultz
Larry Seaquist Seattle Foundation Pam Andrews and Tad Seder
Carrie Shaw Tracy Sherman Kim Shin
Kyla Shkerich Delee Shoemaker Cate Simmers
Renee Radcliff Sinclair Barb and Kip Smith Stephen Smith
Kelly Snyder Monika and Birger Steen Zoe Stemm-Calderon
Dr. Elliot Stern Keith Essen Steve and Liann Sundquist
John Tapogna Rep. Gael Tarleton The Capella Group
Yvonne Thomas Lynn and Mikal Thomsen Thrive Washington
Brooke Valentine John Verduin Gordie Verhovek
Lisa Howe Verhovek Shannon Vetto Jennifer Vranek
Shannon Waits Jennifer Ward Elizabeth Warman
Julia Warth Washington State Charter Schools Association Kevin Washington
Shani Watkins Suzanne Weaver Tom Weeks
Vicki Weeks Larry Weis Laura Wells
Sara Wetstone Scott Wetstone Emily Wicks
Maggie Wilkens Erin Williams Shirline Wilson
Greg Wong Gerald and Felicia Wright Larry Wright
Evelyn Yenson
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Glossary of Key Education Terms http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/28/glossary-of-key-education-terms/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/28/glossary-of-key-education-terms/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:31:23 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=25969 L01ARU5MZike most professions, the education landscape is full of acronyms and jargon.  As we gear up for the 2017 state legislative session which will focus on education funding, the LEV Policy Team has created this glossary of key terms you will likely hear:

  • Allocation: an amount of money determined by the state and given out to districts.
  • Basic Education: goals established by the Legislature for Washington’s education system, as well as a program to achieve those goals.  See details here
  • Biennium: a period of two years usually used for budgets.
  • Bond: a method used by a public school district to finance the purchase of land or buildings or pay for school construction costs (like getting a loan for a project). Bond measures are placed on the ballot by district school boards to be approved or defeated by the voting public and must be paid back by the local taxpayers. Bonds require a supermajority (2/3) of the vote to pass.
  • ELL (English language learner): a student whose primary language is a language other than English and who have English language skills that are sufficiently lacking or absent resulting in a delay of learning.
  • FRL (free and reduced lunch): a term used to describe students who qualify for participation in the federal school nutrition program that provides free or reduced price school lunches for students from low-income households.
  • Full-day kindergarten: state funded kindergarten that requires a total of 1000 instructional hours and 180 days of instruction.
  • HB: House Bill
  • Initiative: a law proposed by citizens and placed on the ballot in an election. This process bypasses the state legislature and allows citizens to pass laws.
  • Instructional hours: the number of hours districts are required to provide students. Instructional hours include all time in the school day from the beginning of the first period class to the end of the last period class, except for time spent on meals.
  • LAP (learning assistance program): a program to serve eligible students who need academic support for reading, writing, and math, or who need readiness skills to learn these core subjects. Money for the LAP program is provided by the state based on a district’s low-income students.
  • Levy cliff: a reduction, in current law, in the amount of money school districts can collect through local property tax levies that takes effect in January 2018.
  • Levy: a request by a school district of voters to raise or continue local property taxes for a limited number of years for operations costs or capital improvements such as computers or other equipment.
  • McCleary: The Washington State Supreme Court case which ruled that the State of Washington is violating the constitutional rights of students by failing to amply fund basic education. The Court ordered the Legislature to make “steady, real, and measurable” progress each year to fully fund K-12 public education by 2018.
  • MSOC (materials, supplies, and operating cost): the cost to a school district or education entity for materials and supplies used in the classroom (e.g.: white boards, pencils, and printer paper) and operating costs like building maintenance and utility bills.
  • National Board Certification: a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure. National Board Certification has national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.
  • Professional Certification: an advanced level teaching certificate, issued to holders of a Residency Certification who complete a ProTeach Portfolio.
  • Prototypical school: a school design used in the state funding formula to determine the number of teachers, principals, and other school staff that are needed to provide a basic education. The size and staffing levels in a prototypical school differ for elementary, middle, and high schools. Districts are not required to staff their schools in the same way as the prototypical schools.
  • QEC (quality education council): created by the legislature in ESHB 2261. The purpose of the QEC was to develop strategic recommendations for implementation of a new definition of Basic Education and the financing necessary to support it. During the 2016 legislative session, HB 2360 eliminated the QEC.
  • Residency Certification: the initial license issued by the state for a teacher to be allowed to teach in a school. Teachers in Washington must attempt to earn the Professional Certificate after teaching for three years.
  • SB: Senate Bill
  • SPED (special education): specifically designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.
  • Staff mix: a part of the state funding formula for schools used to capture the average teaching experience and education level of teachers in a district. Teachers’ salaries go up with each year of experience and level of education. Staff mix (a number between 1 and 1.9) is multiplied by a district’s base teacher salary to determine the salary amount the state provides for teachers.
  • TBIP (transitional bilingual instructional program): a state supported program that funds districts to provide a two-language system of instruction. Students learn language concepts and knowledge in their primary language at the same time they receive instruction in English.
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Significant update to Washington state school discipline policy http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/22/significant-update-to-washington-state-school-discipline-policy/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/22/significant-update-to-washington-state-school-discipline-policy/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 21:22:48 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=25949 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

During the 2016 session, the Washington legislature passed Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541, which includes significant changes to student discipline laws.

These changes also affect the rules for student discipline (Chapter 392-400 WAC) and student enrollment reporting for state funding (WAC 392-121-108) during the period of suspension and expulsion. The Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will align the rules with this new law before the upcoming school year. OSPI will provide further clarification through additional rulemaking during the 2016–17 school year.

Below is summary of changes effective June 9 that impact the 2016–17 school year. For more information, see OSPI Bulletin No. 024-16.

Limitations on Long-Term Suspensions and Expulsions

A long-term suspension or expulsion must not exceed the length of an academic term, as defined by the school board, from the time of the disciplinary action. This shortens the maximum length of a suspension or expulsion from the prior limitation of one calendar year.

School districts must not use long-term suspension or expulsion as a form of discretionary discipline. “Discretionary discipline” is a disciplinary action taken by a district for student behavior that violates the rules of student conduct, except for actions taken in response to:

  1. A violation of the prohibition against firearms on school premises, transportation, or facilities;
  2. Certain violent offenses, sex offenses, offenses related to liquor, controlled substances, and toxic inhalants, and certain crimes related to firearms, assault, kidnapping, harassment, and arson;
  3. Two or more violations within a three-year period of criminal gang intimidation or other gang activity on school grounds, possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities, willfully disobeying school administrators or refusing to leave public property, or defacing or injuring school property; or
  4. Behavior that adversely impacts the health or safety of other students or educational staff.

Except for in response to the above, school districts may no longer use long-term suspension or expulsion. Even for any of the violations above, districts should consider alternative actions before using long-term suspension or expulsion, except for violation of the prohibition against firearms on school premises.

Possession of a telecommunication device and violation of dress and grooming codes are removed from the list of discretionary violations that, if performed two or more times within a three-year period, may result in long-term suspension or expulsion.

Requirement to Provide Educational Services

School districts may not suspend the provision of educational services as a disciplinary action, whether discretionary or nondiscretionary.

While students may be excluded from classrooms and other instructional or activity areas for the period of suspension or expulsion, districts must provide students with an opportunity to receive educational services during that time.

If educational services are provided in an alternative setting, the alternative setting should be comparable, equitable, and appropriate to the regular education services a student would have received without the exclusionary discipline.

Reengagement Plan and Meeting

School districts must convene a reengagement meeting with the student and family when a long-term suspension or expulsion is imposed.

Families must have access to, provide meaningful input on, and have the opportunity to participate in a culturally sensitive and culturally responsive reengagement plan.

Policies and Procedures

School districts must:

  1. Annually disseminate school discipline policies and procedures to students, families, and the community;
  2. Monitor the impact of discipline policies and procedures using disaggregated data; and
  3. Periodically review and update discipline rules, policies, and procedures in consultation with staff, students, families, and the community.


Questions? Contact OSPI:

For questions about student discipline, alternatives to suspension, and reengagement meetings:

Joshua Lynch, Program Supervisor | Student Discipline and Behavior



For questions about Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) and online learning:

Lillian Hunter, Director | Digital Learning Department

lillian.hunter@k12.wa.us | 206-543-5426


For questions about student enrollment reporting for state funding:

Becky McLean, Supervisor | Enrollment Reporting and Categorical Funding

becky.mclean@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6306


Additional Resources

HB 1541

Equity in Student Discipline

Data and Analytics: Suspensions and Expulsions

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Flexibility in exchange for accountability at Kent’s iGrad Academy http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/09/flexibility-in-exchange-for-accountability-at-kents-igrad-academy/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/09/flexibility-in-exchange-for-accountability-at-kents-igrad-academy/#respond Fri, 10 Jun 2016 04:40:23 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=25928 iGrad Academy Principal Carol Cleveland

iGrad Academy Principal Carol Cleveland

Kent School District’s iGrad Academy is a program unlike any other in the district. Comprised of six pathways, students choose from a range of opportunities.  They can earn a high school diploma or two-year AA degree as iGrad fosters unique plans for individual students that did not find educational success at their previous school. iGrad offers what Principal Carol Cleveland calls a 1418 program, which follows a nontraditional calendar year, nontraditional instructional hours, a lower teacher-to-student ratio, a lower counselor-to-student ratio, and commits to addressing the needs of the whole child.  These unique elements are what make iGrad one of a kind.

As a young girl, Principal Cleveland dreamed of becoming a doctor but education ran in the family. After substitute teaching in Georgia, she witnessed a lack of adequate attention given to students with special learning needs. These students were being directed down a path that would ultimately create a larger achievement gap. It was this experience that made her realize the education system needed her help.

Determined to influence educational policy, decision making, and progress for students like those with special needs, Cleveland began working tirelessly. In 2012, such determination brought her to her position today as the leader and principal of iGrad Academy.

As an advocate for specialized education systems, Cleveland is passionate about the iGrad program and curriculum. The basic principle of the program, she says, is to grant young learners and educators the flexibility to think and operate outside of the box to ensure that students are college, career, and life ready. Such a foundation enables all those who attend, and teach, to have more freedom. The teachers at iGrad all believe that students can learn and experience academic, social, and personal success. Common belief in individual potential creates a strong bond between educator and student and contributes to the success of the program.

At iGrad, relationships are everything. Principal Cleveland goes out of her way to get to know every single student. By setting up monthly meetings with students, Cleveland takes a hands-on approach as school leader. She hears directly from participants in the program about what is and is not working. For students to reach their goals, Cleveland values listening to what they want and what they need. As a result, iGrad has seen exponential educational growth.

After several years at iGrad and tracking the progress of the program and its students, Principal Cleveland is thinking about the future. By working to strengthen relationships between middle schools and high schools, businesses and colleges, Cleveland hopes to expand opportunities to teach students how to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world. Students gain greater insight and create more options for themselves when they learn from business professionals which skills and abilities are desirable in employees.

Unfortunately, funding remains a challenge for the program. In addition to statewide inadequacies in support for public education, Open Door programs have different accountability measures and that can directly impact funding.   Even though students don’t always show academic progress in accordance with state timelines, Principal Cleveland and her staff believe that every student can learn. Many students have been given the tools needed to move forward in their educational pursuit by attending iGrad and Cleveland hopes the community will continue to support her efforts to increase the number of success stories.

Carol Cleveland’s medical career never took flight but she is healing broken dreams and changes hundreds of lives every day. Through her dedication to closing the opportunity gap and her success as the leader of iGrad Academy, she has created a pathway to success for many young adults who have struggled to find their own way. The League of Education Voters celebrates this amazing woman and her stellar program.

Caring, innovative, supportive, flexible, and successful – shouldn’t Carol Cleveland’s approach be basic education?

iGrad Academy is grateful for the support students receive from community members.  If you are interested in making a donation, iGrad is always in need of the following items:

School Supplies:  paper, pencils, pens, pee-chee style folders, spiral single-subject notebooks

Metro Bus tickets / Orca Cards: Help students get to and from school

Graduation Items: Gowns, Caps, Tassels

Toiletry items: for males and females, all ethnicities

New undergarments: for males and females

Gift Cards for achievement prizes: Starbucks, Fred Meyer, Target, etc…

One time need:

Female and Male mannequin (to dress in caps and gowns for inspiration)

Young Adult Books:

Many iGrad students love to read and the Academy is working to build a library of young adult books for them. If you’re interested in making a donation, there are lists of suggested titles and authors below:

King County Library System Teen Booklist:


Alex Award for Young Adult Fiction:


Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers:


Other Specific Publishers:



Other Specific Authors:

Ellen Hopkins

Allison Van Diepen’s urban fiction

Other Specific Title:

Nickel Plated

If you prefer to donate cash:

If you prefer to donate cash, iGrad Academy has established a trust fund which is used to purchase items that will allow students to focus on their learning. In addition to the above items, the Trust Fund may purchase online access for a student without internet, required materials for a college class, or a change of clothing for a homeless student.  Please call 253.373.4723 to express interest.

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Education Advocate June 2016 http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/07/education-advocate-june-2016/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/07/education-advocate-june-2016/#respond Tue, 07 Jun 2016 23:43:28 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=25920 ED Advocate, League of Education Voters Newsletter, June 2016


Chris Korsmo
Chris Korsmo, CEO

As yet another school year ends with blinding speed, work is heating up for team LEV.  The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), replacing No Child Left Behind, gives states more leeway in a wide range of areas.  Our state is figuring out how to modify our accountability system and fully implement other parts of the law.  If you’re curious how ESSA will work here in Washington, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is holding forums around the state.  Get all the info here.

And speaking of the state Superintendent, watch for OSPI candidate forums from now until the November election.  LEV is keeping track of upcoming forums here.

Looking ahead, we’re taking a hard look at how to best fund our state education system as the McCleary debate will be front and center in the next Legislative session.  If you would like more info on what the McCleary Task Force is up to, check out our recent Lunchtime LEVinar on the topic here.

May you and your family enjoy a glorious summer.

Thank you, and thanks for all you do for kids.
Chris Korsmo signature



Chris Korsmo

ESSA Regional Community Forums

ESSA regional community forums are scheduled around the stateBeginning June 14, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is holding forums across the state to provide an overview of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation in Washington. Each forum is open to the public and there is no registration required. Read more

LEV’s Activist of the Month

Mary Fertakis is LEV's June 2016 Activist of the MonthThe work that we do to improve public education is only possible thanks to the support of our activists and advocates – the parents, community members, students, and teachers who stand up and speak up.

Congratulations to longtime Tukwila School Board Member Mary Fertakis, June 2016 Activist of the Month, who has spent more than two decades fighting for people who have been marginalized – denied opportunity by race, place of birth, or government. Read more

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidate Forums

OSPI candidate forums are happening now until the November electionCandidates who want to lead Washington’s school system as its next Superintendent will speak at forums around the state. Current OSPI candidates include: Robin Fleming, Ron Higgins, Erin Jones, Chris Reykdal and David Spring. Learn more

The McCleary Task Force: What to Expect

LEVinar: The McCleary Task ForceThe Washington Supreme Court is fining the Legislature $100,000 a day for not fully funding public education. During this year’s session in Olympia, the Legislature passed a bill that created a task force to determine how to end the state’s over-reliance on local levies to pay teacher salaries and other components on basic education. But will the Court be satisfied? Watch here

Get Involved


July 19 and 21 | Every Student Succeeds Act: What You Need to Know, Online webinar


League of Education Voters

League of Education Voters

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Seattle, WA 98109
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Activist of the Month: Mary Fertakis http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/06/activist-of-the-month-mary-fertakis/ http://educationvoters.org/2016/06/06/activist-of-the-month-mary-fertakis/#comments Mon, 06 Jun 2016 20:24:45 +0000 http://educationvoters.org/?p=25910 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 June: Mary Fertakis.

June Activist of the Month Mary Fertakis in Senegal with Ibrahim N'Diaye, her village father

June Activist of the Month Mary Fertakis in Senegal with Ibrahim N’Diaye, her village father

For more than two decades, Tukwila School Board member Mary Fertakis has been fighting for people who have been marginalized – denied opportunity by race, place of birth, or government.

She first became involved with LEV in 2007, when simple majority for school levies was on the ballot. Mary worked on that issue through the Washington State School Directors Association before meeting LEV co-founder Lisa Macfarlane at Tyee High School in Sea-Tac. “The key for both WSSDA and LEV’s advocacy on that issue was separating levies from bonds,” Mary explains.

Mary has seen change happen when multiple groups from different sectors have been working on an issue separately and then converge, like the spokes of a wheel. Mary saw it most recently with early learning. She says, “UW research in early childhood, brain development, and I-LABS, plus the health and early learning communities, non-profits/funders, and K-12 education leaders all got the message out. Each entity had a touch point so different audiences could connect with why it’s important.” And she saw the result in a recent, successful Tukwila School District bond measure that included a Birth to 5 center.

The education world has been with Mary throughout her life. Her father taught in the Seattle School District and her mother was a scientist, running the University of Washington’s pathology lab for years. She credits her parents for instilling values that are important to her. They discussed weighty issues, took her to the fire station when they voted (in every election), and exposed her to different cultures through travel and the UW’s international students who worked in the lab. She grew up in Seattle when social justice issues made regular headlines and her family was part of activist efforts through the faith community to re-settle Hmong and Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s.

But joining the Peace Corps to work in Senegal for 2½ years affected her most deeply. “That’s when I saw firsthand how education can break the cycle of poverty,” Mary says. She lived in a village about 2 miles from the border of The Gambia, “the middle of nowhere,” and focused on rural development. Her program’s goal was to help village communities build a self-sustaining infrastructure where none had existed. “I learned what you need for a community to become self-sustaining.”

Mary wrote 11 grants and every grant got funded, which allowed her village to build a school, dig a well, start a health hut, build fuel-efficient stoves, engage in reforestation efforts, ensure that every family compound and the school had a latrine, build a grain storage facility, and create a 1-hectare garden that improved access to food and spawned micro-enterprise, with the excess produce sold at the weekly market in The Gambia. She even brought in a millet-pounding machine, which saved village women significant time on a daily chore and was an income source as women from surrounding villages paid to use it. The combination of freeing up the women’s time and creating an income source enabled them to launch a tie-dying business. Mary says, “It could not have been more perfect.”

Transitioning back to the U.S. was hard. It took a year for her to not feel nauseated when she walked into a grocery store. “I couldn’t handle an entire aisle of cereal boxes,” Mary explains. “Senegal is a drought county. When the villagers didn’t eat, I didn’t eat. Seeing so much food was overwhelming.”

Everything she’s been able to do since that experience has been icing on the cake. Mary has had the unique privilege, by the time she was 27, of knowing that she made a difference in the world. She and her husband provided some financial support for one of her village brothers to attend college – the first person from the village to do so. He graduated and now teaches in a town with Internet access, which has given her a way to stay in touch with her village. She took her oldest son to visit when he was 5 years old, and longs for the day she can take her youngest son to meet his Senegalese family.

Living in Tukwila, Mary feels like she’s still having the Peace Corps experience. She empathizes with the challenges of many of the district’s students and their families – what it feels like to be dropped into a foreign culture and having to deal with full immersion. “It’s exhausting,” she says. “People here don’t understand how long it takes to learn another language, what the cultural norms are, and many of the basics of everyday life in a different culture.”

Mary had no idea she would still be on the Tukwila School Board more than 20 years after first running for office in 1995. She has watched the district change dramatically, shifting from a majority Caucasian, blue-collar, Boeing town to an ethnically-diverse school district where Caucasians are now the minority. She found it incredibly helpful that she had the experience of living in a Muslim country. Bosnians first arrived in Tukwila, then Somali refugees. Mary was able to help incorporate Muslim cultural issues like Ramadan, food, and health concerns into district awareness and policy.

At some point in her busy life, Mary wants to write a children’s picture book based on an experience during her time in Senegal that she shares with students when she does presentations and is explaining the concept of “world view.” In her village, which still has no electricity, nights are pitch dark with an explosion of stars. Her mother sent a book of constellations so she could learn about them. Mary told her village father that it contained drawings of what is in the sky and asked if they had something similar in their culture. When he responded, “yes” she pointed out the Big Dipper, describing it, in Wolof, as “a box with a stick coming out of it – we call that the Big Spoon.” Her father looked at it, and after a few moments, said that he saw that image – and that they call that cluster of stars the Elephant. After a few moments, she was able to see that also (the Dipper handle is the trunk, the rest of the constellation are its legs). Mary says, “So here we were, looking at the same thing and seeing something completely different based on our life experience.”

Now, when Mary gazes at the night sky in Tukwila, sometimes she looks at the Big Dipper and sometimes she looks at the Elephant.

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