Connie with her son Jordan
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 August: Connie Gerlitz. Read more about her experience as a long-time advocate for all kids.
Connie Gerlitz got her start in advocacy through her work at Safeco Insurance “way back,” she says, where she worked to improve safety standards for children. She worked with the Legislature to fight for laws around things like seatbelts for children, car seats, and bike helmets.
Working with the Legislature gave her the confidence to speak publicly and testify on behalf of issues that she believes in, and she also gained insight into why working with the Legislature was so important.
Connie has been involved with the League of Education Voters (LEV) since its inception, and she recalls attending an exploratory meeting with LEV co-founder Lisa Macfarlane in Bellevue thirteen-some years ago. (more…)
Chris Korsmo, CEO of the League of Education Voters, submitted an op-ed to The Seattle Times‘ Education Lab yesterday. It was published in The Seattle Times print edition on June 20.
In her column, Chris argues that the definition of “basic education” in Washington is too narrow—it does not include early learning or higher education. Read below for an excerpt, or read the entire column online.
At the League of Education Voters, we support an ample, equitable, stable education funding plan. While we supported the re-definition of “basic education” developed in 2009 (it includes smaller class size, full-day kindergarten, transportation, materials and supplies) upon which McCleary is based, we advocated that the definition should also include early learning and higher education.
During the past two years, we have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the current definition of basic education. It is neither ample nor equitable. And thanks to our over-reliance on local levies, it certainly isn.t stable.
We need a definition of basic education that puts students and their learning at the center.
Read the entire op-ed on The Seattle Times website.
It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders….
—Article IX, Section I, Washington State Constitution
Earlier 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.
From left: Former Justice Phil Talmadge, Sen. Christine Rolfes, Billy Corriher, and Frank Ordway.
The League of Education Voters and Center for American Progress recently hosted a panel discussion, The Battle over School Funding: The Legislature v. the State Supreme Court to discuss the case and the Legislature’s response. Panelists included Senator Christine Rolfes; former Justice Phil Talmadge; Frank Ordway, LEV’s Director of Government Affairs; and Billy Corriher, Director of Research, Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. (more…)