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Posts Tagged 2015 legislative session

Statement on the Supreme Court’s Order to the State

Today, the Washington State Supreme Court issued their response on the Legislature’s progress in funding basic education.

The Court recognized the Legislature’s record progress in funding an education continuum and called out their work in fully funding transportation, materials, supplies, and operating costs, as well as their progress in partially funding K–3 class-size reductions and full-day kindergarten. The Court also called out the areas where the Legislature did not make significant progress, namely in funding facilities for class-size reduction and full-day kindergarten, compensation for teachers and other school personnel, and reliance on local levies to provide basic education.

Effectively immediately, the Court is fining the state $100,000 a day until a plan to fully fund basic education is implemented, which will go into a special fund reserved for basic education. The Court also encouraged Governor Jay Inslee to call the Legislature back for a special session. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Funding, Press Releases & Statements

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Strong words on education funding

The Washington State Legislature recently submitted a report to the Supreme Court detailing their progress in fully funding basic education as ordered in McCleary v. Washington. In anticipation of this report, both The Olympian and The Seattle Times continued their solid coverage of Washington education by publishing strong editorials on the topic.

In addition, The Seattle Times asked lawmakers, the League of Education Voters (LEV), and the Washington Education Association to weigh in on what they think is still needed.

LEV will be focusing on the Supreme Court this summer by profiling each of the nine justices.

Posted in: Blog, Funding, LEV News, Media Clips

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Statement on the 2015-2017 Budget

After one long legislative session (followed by three special sessions), Governor Inslee signed Washington’s 2015–2017 state budget into law late in the evening on June 30, averting a government shutdown by less than an hour. An unprecedented series of events ultimately delayed sine die until today, but with the true end of our historically long 2015 legislative session at hand, we take a moment to reflect.

What we see in this budget is a more comprehensive investment in education than at any other time in the state’s history. Through their strong investments in public education across the spectrum, early learning through postsecondary, the Legislature has given all Washington’s students more hope for their future.

The 2015 Legislative SessionThe League of Education Voters has long argued that a child’s education should be a continuum with seamless transitions from early learning through higher education. We have worked with partners around the state in pursuit of that vision, including with the Cradle through College Coalition. It is gratifying to see the Legislature following through with strategies and investments that support students at all ages. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Closing the Gaps, Early Learning, Funding, Higher Education, Legislative session, LEV News, Press Releases & Statements

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Closed: What happens if Washington state shuts down

While our state legislators continue to argue over the budget, we’re just days away from a government shutdown. State employees have begun receiving temporary layoff notices, and many state agencies will shut down on July 1 without an agreement between legislative chambers and a signed budget by midnight on June 30.

Image of the Washington State Capitol Building with a "Closed" sign.What will happen if our government shuts down?

If Governor Inslee is unable to sign the budget before July 1, state employees will be affected—but so will parents, children, and small business owners. And those hit hardest will be low-income parents and families. You see, if the budget is not signed by July 1, licensed childcare providers who received state funding will be unable to work, and this could have a huge impact on families. (more…)

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism, Blog, Legislative session

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: June 12

Well, it wasn’t exactly “Dewey Defeats Truman,” but last week’s proclamation of a budget deal was—sadly—a bit premature. Not everyone bought into the hype that a deal was imminent; some remain optimistic, while others offer admonishment. For their part, the Supreme Court is taking a wait-and-see approach. They are due a report on progress and a plan to finish the necessary work of fully funding “basic education” shortly after the Legislature finally adjourns.

At which point, I hope that the Legislature is called back into another session. Because, well, they didn’t fully comply with the Court’s orders. A girl can dream, can’t she? (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Legislative session, Weekly Roundup

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: June 5

I’m not sure you can put all the blame on Dana Carvey’sChurch Lady” for the ruination of the word “special.” I mean, anybody else remember the ABC After School Specials of the 1970s? The first “entertainment specials” aimed at teen and tween angst on television were often anything but. Which brings me to the state of our legislative session(s). Wrapping up the first week of the second “special session” makes me long for the bad-hair-’70s nightmare that was “My Dad’s Wife” starring… Kristy McNichol. Now, those were good times. Our legislative sessions… not so much.

With a (partial) government shutdown looming at the end of the month, budget negotiators have been called to the office—the Governor’s office—to resume talks after the first really super special session resulted in nada. Well, not nada, exactly. Overall budget proposals seemed to have resulted in myriad teacher walkouts to protest a variety of issues—something we can expect to see more of, even though the budget will likely result in record investments in education. More on this in a moment.

You may be asking yourself, what’s the hold up on this budget? And how did we get here? Taxes. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Legislative session, Weekly Roundup

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Join Joyce Yee for coffee: June meetings

Joyce YeeI invite you to join me over coffee for a series of informal meetings to share your stories and discuss how to advocate for education to our policymakers.

This is a critical year for education. We are working to ensure that increases in education funding—as a result of McCleary v. Washington or other efforts—are ample, equitable, stable, and targeted toward evidenced-based strategies that improve access and outcomes for all students. Our vision for public education is one that guarantees every Washington student the opportunity for a high-quality education from early learning through the first two years of college.

I am holding two different types of coffee meetings multiple times each month:

  1. The first is a space to share your stories and hear about what is happening in your community. Chat with us about your experiences advocating for change in your community and get to know your neighbors and community members better!
  2. The second is a space to share your stories and learn how to share them with your policymakers. If you yourself have some policy updates to share, please bring those! Chat with us about your hopes and practice advocacy work through written or online messages, phone calls, in-person meetings with legislators, or town hall meetings.

These are both drop-in meetings. Please stop by and enjoy a cup of coffee on me! (more…)

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism, Blog, Events, Legislative session

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Join Joyce Yee for coffee: May meetings

Joyce YeeI invite you to join me over coffee for a series of informal meetings to share your stories and discuss how to advocate for education to our policymakers.

This is a critical year for education. We are working to ensure that increases in education funding—as a result of McCleary v. Washington or other efforts—are ample, equitable, stable, and targeted toward evidenced-based strategies that improve access and outcomes for all students. Our vision for public education is one that guarantees every Washington student the opportunity for a high-quality education from early learning through the first two years of college.

I am holding two different types of coffee meetings multiple times each month:

  1. The first is a space to share your stories and hear about what is happening in your community. Chat with us about your experiences advocating for change in your community and get to know your neighbors and community members better!
  2. The second is a space to share your stories and learn how to share them with your policymakers. If you yourself have some policy updates to share, please bring those! Chat with us about your hopes and practice advocacy work through written or online messages, phone calls, in-person meetings with legislators, or town hall meetings.

These are both drop-in meetings. Please stop by and enjoy a cup of coffee on me! (more…)

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism, Blog, Events, Legislative session

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Dear Legislature: The time is now

Dear Legislature,

Chris Korsmo, CEO, League of Education Voters

Chris Korsmo

Thank you for your hard work and commitment to ensuring a high-quality public education for each Washington student, from early learning through higher education. The Legislature is poised to pass the most comprehensive education budget in the history of the state that has the potential to increase opportunities for all Washington students.

But there is important work that still needs to be done.

We must ensure expanded access to quality early learning by passing the Early Start Act. We must increase the number of people who can access the State Need Grant Program. But the biggest job left to tackle is in K–12 education. To address legal issues and profound inequity in the current system, we must design a cogent, viable, funding plan for K–12 education. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Legislative session, LEV News, Press Releases & Statements, Weekly Roundup

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Fully funding basic education

While the final days of this legislative session are nearing, yesterday leaders from both the House and Senate proposed three plans to reform the ways schools in our state are financed and end an over-reliance on local levies. These plans are in addition to a plan put forward by State Superintendent Randy Dorn earlier this week. Currently, local levy funding is used to pay for basic education costs, including teacher salaries and school supplies; costs that the State Constitution requires be covered by the State. This is major step forward on one of most vexing challenges confronting the state legislature.

We know that teachers make the biggest school-based difference in a child’s education. Effective school leadership plays a significant role in the academic results of students building-wide. Strategic investments in K–12 teacher compensation and professional learning are necessary to close gaps and improve outcomes for all kids. By ensuring the state is fulfilling its responsibility, we will ensure these critical elements are in place to benefit our children. (more…)

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

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