During the 2013 legislative session, many of you helped us pass a law (SB 5946) that makes school discipline data public and limits the number of days that students can be removed from class.
That was the first step in transforming school discipline policies. Now it’s time to take another.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is inviting public comment on its implementation of the new law.
There are a few ways you can get involved. (more…)
The 2014 legislative session may have been short, but there were significant policy accomplishments in improving public education in Washington state. These accomplishments expand access to financial aid for higher education for all Washington students, pave the way for all students to graduate from high school ready for college or career, and make steps toward reducing the opportunity and achievement gaps. (more…)
Greetings! That giant sucking sound you heard on Friday was not the rush of legislators exiting Olympia—though they mostly did get out of Dodge. NO, that was me, racing to my son’s elementary school auction, where I crusaded against unbid-for items in the silent auction and sober school secretaries. You’d have thought it was my first time to the charity auction rodeo. Thankfully, my paddle number drowned in a table-mate’s spilled chardonnay and my floppy instrument of mass expenditure was finally decommissioned.
However, I am the proud new owner of one second-grade art project and several of the aforementioned unbid-for (other than my bid) items of varying use. The real prize eluded me as my raffle numbers were not called for the Merry Maids visits. Because this event was “for the children,” I won’t dwell on the number of Merry Maids visits I could have purchased with the money spent. That notwithstanding, why does it take a school auction to buy science lab equipment? I’m grateful to the parents who “raised the paddle,” and baffled as to why they have to.
It might interest you to know that my son’s school has a free and reduced lunch rate (FRL) that hovers in the mid to high 40s, percentage-wise. So, these events are small miracles in and of themselves. And every one of the dollars raised is much needed. And then some. Now, you may be saying to yourself, but Chris, a high FRL means federal assistance in the form of Title I money. Not so fast. Distributing those dollars is a district-by-district thing. And the thing where my son goes to school is that if the school doesn’t meet a certain threshold, say 50 percent FRL, the school receives no Title I dollars. It wouldn’t take much to get there. About 15 more kids eligible for FRL…. It’s some strange system that leaves nearly 200 kids behind.
And, this leads me to our last update from this session: (more…)