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Kelly Munn Honored by the Issaquah Schools Foundation

Kelly Munn with her Golden Apple Award (right), with Issaquah Schools Foundation Past President Jody Mull.

Kelly Munn (right) with Issaquah Schools Foundation Past President Jody Mull.

Kelly Munn, State Field Director at the League of Education Voters, was recently recognized by the Issaquah Schools Foundation with the 2015 Golden Apple Award. The Issaquah Schools Foundation began presenting its annual Golden Apple Award in 1998 to recognize individuals in the community who made a difference for children.

Kelly began advocating the year her own children began school, through the PTA and then through Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, where she chaired multiple bond and levy campaigns and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Issaquah Schools. Kelly also served on the Issaquah Schools Foundation board for three years.

The Issaquah Schools Foundation describes Kelly as “someone who has been vigilant, tireless, unrelenting, and a passionate spokesperson for what’s in the best interest of children at all levels,” and we agree.

Congratulations, Kelly, and thank you for your work on behalf of all Washington students!

Posted in: LEV News

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Kelly Munn Receives Community Leadership Award from Issaquah School District

From Left: WASA 110 President Larry Francois, Kelly Munn, and Issaquah School District Superintendent, Ron Thiele

From Left: WASA 110 President Larry Francois, Kelly Munn, and Issaquah School District Superintendent, Ron Thiele

The Issaquah School District honored League of Education Voters State Field Director Kelly Munn with its Community Leadership Award at the Washington School Administrator’s Association’s regional awards ceremony held at the Puget Sound ESD on May 23, 2014.

Kelly has been an active volunteer in the Issaquah School District and an advocate for public education for many years. Kelly’s leadership has been instrumental in helping the district maintain high quality programs and meet the demands of continued growth as co-chair of the Volunteers for Issaquah Schools Community Bond and Levy Committee. Over the years she has also been very active in PTSA and served on the board of the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

Congratulations to Kelly for this tremendous honor!

Posted in: LEV News

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Activist of the Month: Betsy Cohen

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 February: Betsy Cohen. Read more about Betsy’s experience as an education activist.

Betsy CohenBetsy Cohen testified in Olympia for the first time two weeks ago in favor of the college and career ready diploma (HB 2181). That might come as a surprise to those who know her, since Betsy has been involved in education advocacy for years—since moving to Washington state when her children were young.

Betsy joined her children’s elementary school PTA and, with her background as a law professor, was quickly appointed as their legislative representative. Over the years, she has organized dozens of trips to Olympia and helped others testify (but she never had the opportunity to testify herself). (more…)

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Money Matters in the Issaquah School District

The League of Education Voters invited leaders from all around Washington state to share their school district’s story on how money matters, and how they are using it to reduce the opportunity and achievement gaps. This post is the last school district perspective in our five-part blog series, “Money Matters. But so does how it’s spent.”

Alison MeryweatherBy Alison Meryweather, LEV Key Activist

Once the 2014 budget was approved, the Issaquah district moved quickly to strategically invest the additional funding. To be clear; our district has yet to be restored to pre-2008-2009 state funding levels, but with the “additional” $3 million allocation from the state, we could begin that process.

Below are some of the priorities where funding was spent:

Instructional Performance and Accountability: $1,000,000 for full implementation, district-wide, of the Teacher Principal Evaluation Pilot (TPEP) Program. These additional funds are required to ensure the program is implemented with equity and transparency. These new evaluations are much more time-consuming and therefore the district opted to increase Dean of Students staffing at both the elementary and middle schools and add another Assistant Principal at two of our comprehensive high schools who have enrollments of 2,000 students each. This staff increase will also serve to assist students who need additional support to address their challenges.

Instructional Time: $200,000 to fund a pilot 7th period at two high schools to expand core graduation and elective options for students. Due to state funding constraints, our district only provides a 6-period day. The district will pilot an on-demand academic option, as well as provide transportation.

Student Health: While $975,000 overall was allocated, the district is contracting for Mental Health Counseling at all three of our comprehensive high schools, at a cost of $275,000. To me, this is a very smart investment. Data from our annual Healthy Youth Survey indicates numerous areas of significant concern. Our teachers are on the front line with our students and both need the guidance and support to navigate the complexities of social/emotional health.

Just imagine the opportunities for our students should the state fully adhere to the court McCleary decision to restore the previous funding levels and make additional essential investments in education!

Alison Meryweather is a passionate advocate for public education and has been volunteering for over a decade so that our students can benefit from the best education possible.

Posted in: Funding

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