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    Recap: Advancing Educator Diversity in Washington state

    By Lizzeth Mancilla
    Engagement and Policy Intern

     

    In this webinar co-presented with the College Spark Foundation, we have assembled a statewide panel including student activist Charlie Fisher of the Washington state Legislative Youth Advisory Council, founder of Unite Ridgefield, and advocate for legislation to diversify school curriculum, Alexandra Manuel, Executive Director of the Washington State Professional Education Standards Board, Dr. Mia Tuan, Dean of the University of Washington College of Education, Dr. Margarita Magana, Director of Outreach & Recruitment of the Heritage University Education Department, Dr. Goldy Brown III, Director of the Principal Certification Program at Whitworth University, and Dr. Gisela Ernst-Slavit, Professor of English Language Learners at Washington State University Vancouver Campus College of Education. Panelists discuss how educator and principal prep programs work to undo the injustices that have led to the current disparities between the diversity of students and educators, what more is needed, and how we can work together to support and sustain a diverse education workforce in Washington state. They also answered your questions.

    There’s a significant disparity between the diversity of Washington students and educators. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) youth make up nearly half of our student population, while more than 90% of our teachers and education leaders are white. Studies show that BIPOC students who are exposed to teachers who reflect their race and ethnicity have higher graduation rates, and when more of the adults in schools reflect the communities they serve, deeper, more authentic school/community partnerships become well-positioned to transform schools in ways that dismantle racism and benefit from the wisdom and vision of families. In this moment of racial reckoning for our country, it is more important than ever to grow, sustain, and advance the priorities of BIPOC educators.

    Dr. Warren Brown from the College Spark Foundation emphasized that advancing educator diversity in Washington state isn’t a new effort, rather a renewed one. It will lead to better student outcomes, close opportunity gaps, and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly diverse society. With much work needed ahead, “it takes change… community… and collaboration,” he stated. 

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    Recap: Why Every Family Deserves a Fair Start

    By Lizzeth Mancilla
    Engagement and Policy Intern

     

    Representative Tana Senn (left) and Senator Claire Wilson (right)

    In this webinar, Washington state Representative Tana Senn and Senator Claire Wilson, prime sponsors of the Fair Start for Kids Act (House Bill 1213 and Senate Bill 5237), explain how their omnibus legislation takes strong steps to address child care and early learning affordability, access, and the economic crisis. They also answered questions from the audience.

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    Recap: A Listening Session with Voices from the Latino Community Part 2

    By Lizzeth Mancilla
    Engagement and Policy Intern

     

    Dr. Susana Reyes (left), Dr. Nydia A. Martinez (middle), Tanya Medina (right)

    In this webinar, we assembled another statewide panel of Latino thought leaders, community leaders, and educators to share their perspectives on what is working, and not working, in their communities and what state legislators can do to better support Latino students. Panelists included Dr. Susana Reyes, Assistant Superintendent of Operations for the Pasco School District and Member of the Washington State Board of Education; Dr. Nydia A. Martinez, Director of the Chicana/o/x Studies Program, Academic Director of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), and Assistant Professor of History at Eastern Washington University (EWU); and Tanya Medina, Alianza Youth Leadership Co-Manager with the Latino Community Fund.

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    A Statement on Democracy

    Like many of you, we are processing the violent events that unfolded at our nation’s Capitol yesterday, fueled by white nationalism and against a backdrop of a deadly pandemic. These treasonous acts are a stark reminder of how much work is needed to protect and fully realize the promise of American democracy for everyone, and the vital role that education plays in fulfilling that vision.

    At the urging of President Trump, violent insurrectionists stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of our duly elected 46th President. This is a clear attempt to undermine our country’s democracy and the will of its citizens.

    Election officials in both parties, as well as state and federal courts in more than 60 cases, have determined that the outcome is not in doubt. Joe Biden is our next President, and Congress must heed the voice of the American people.

    Millions are suffering at the hands of COVID with many witnessing family members die, loved ones lose jobs, and children go hungry. President Trump and those who have supported him in the stoking of hate and division, bear the burden of this ongoing tragedy and need to stop the violence now and take responsibility for their actions.

    We condemn this action and acknowledges Joe Biden as our next President.

     

    Black Education Strategy Roundtable

    Building Changes

    College Success Foundation

    Graduate Tacoma

    Stand for Children Washington

    Treehouse

    Washington State Charter Schools Association

    Washington STEM

    League of Education Voters

    Recap: A Listening Session with Voices from the Latino Community

    By Lizzeth Mancilla
    Engagement and Policy Intern

    Robert Elizondo (top L), Suzy Diaz (top R), Maria Esther Zamora (bottom L), Miguel Maestas (bottom R)

     

    COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color in terms of COVID deaths, infections, unemployment, etc. In this LEVinar, Robert Elizondo, Superintendent of the Touchet School District; Suzy Diaz, Director of Collective Impact at Heritage University and convener of Yakima Valley Partners for Education; Maria Esther Zamora, English Language Development teacher at Spokane Virtual Academy; and Miguel Maestas, Housing and Economic Development Director of El Centro de la Raza discuss the challenges Latinos are facing with COVID-19 and what works to effectively educate Latino students. Read More

    Watch our LEVinar on What Students Need Now

    These are unprecedented times in Washington state. Most school districts are still doing remote learning and some are transitioning to hybrid learning models. But how are students navigating this historic school year, and how can we best support them now?

    In this webinar, we partnered with The Root of Our Youth to assemble a panel of students from across Washington to share how they are doing and how we can help. They also answer your questions.

    Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

    Watch Now

     

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    Resources for Juniors & Seniors

    This page hosts a variety of resources for juniors & seniors who are seeking information on college, career, and financial planning.

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT & STANDARDIZED TEST PREP

    Resource Description
    Advanced Placement The AP Program offers college-level courses and exams that you can take in high school.
    Cambridge International Every year nearly a million Cambridge learners prepare for their future with an education from Cambridge International. Together with schools we develop Cambridge learners who are confident responsible reflective innovative and engaged – equipped for success in the modern world.
    International Baccalaureate For students aged 3-19. IB programs challenge students to excel in their studies and encourage both personal and academic achievement.
    College Board Free Practice for SAT with Khan Academy

     

    SCHOLARSHIPS & FINANCIAL AID

    Resource Description
    Asian Pacific Community Fund Various scholarships available through partners.
    Athletic Aid Sports scholarships; financial aid; and college search resources for students and student athletes.
    Black Excel Over 200 scholarships for minorities.
    Cappex Our mission is to move every student closer to day one at the college that’s right for them. With the most current and complete profiles of every college in the United States; a multi-billion dollar scholarship database; advanced matching algorithms; and direct connections with colleges we get students from wherever they are now to their first day on campus.
    College Success Foundation This resources contains scholarship listings as well as information on programs to help from high school through college. College Success Foundation provides a unique integrated system of supports and scholarships to inspire underserved & low-income students to finish high school; graduate from college; and succeed in life.
    Courage to Grow Scholarship Courage to Grow Scholarship eligibility: You must be a junior or senior in high school or college student with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or better (for U.S. citizens only). $500 One scholarship a month is given.
    Dick Derrick Car & Truck Accident Injury Scholarships A $1000 Scholarship for those affected by auto accidents.
    FAFSA Federal Student Aid official website.
    Fastweb Fastweb is a scholarship search engine.
    GET (Guaranteed Education Tuition) Scholarships and financial planning for private and public schools.
    Federal Student Aid FAFSA Federal Student Aid official website has the free application for federal student aid & college bound access.
    Incight For students with disabilities or students with parents with disabilities.
    National Collegiate Athletic Association College-bound student-athletes preparing to enroll in a Division I or Division II school need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure they have met amateurism standards and are academically prepared for college coursework. Are you ready to play college sports? Download this brochure to find out.
    Perry Technical Institute Scholarships Perry Tech is committed to offering programs that meet the real needs of industry; programs are hands-on and can be completed in one to two years.
    Purdue University Global Purdue has created a resource page with over 45 college scholarship opportunities for minority students.
    Sallie Mae College funding resources including scholarship search.
    Scholarship America College funding resources including scholarship search.
    Scholarship Junkies View available scholarships and get help with scholarship applications.
    Scholarships for Schools Scholarship directory.
    The Washboard Washboard connects Washington students of all types with Washington scholarship providers for free. Whether you’ll be attending in state or out you save time by entering your profile once and letting us find the scholarship opportunities that fit.
    Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Baccalaureate and Career & Technical scholarships available.
    Washington Student Achievement Council Washington State College and Career resources for career planning and financial aid.
    WSU Tri-Cities Scholarships WSU Tri-Cities awards more than $275k in scholarships to students who have ability and aptitude but need resources to help them reach their goals and aspirations.

     

    COLLEGE & CAREER EXPLORATION

    Resource Description
    High School and Beyond Plan The High School & Beyond Plan revolves around three questions: Who am I? What can I become? and How do I become that?
    Quest Bridge QuestBridge is a powerful platform that connects the nation's brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education and further opportunities.
    Ready Set Grad Ready Set Grad helps students earn their high school diploma and postsecondary credential. We are your resource to find; pay for; and complete the education path that’s right for you or the student in your life.
    Real Work Matters This is a resource for people interested in a non-traditional education path. We have a large database of schools with professional training – including technical schools; vocational schools; trade schools; and community colleges in all 50 states. Our database includes both on-campus and online programs along with information on how to get a high school diploma online.
    Princeton Review This site provides results of a survey in which college students rate the schools they are attending. You can also get guidance on going to college; choosing a career; and access to Princeton publications on college financial aid choices. Also offers test prep and online tutoring on a fee basis.
    Ron Brown Scholar Program Recipients are young African Americans of outstanding promise who are offered academic scholarships; service opportunities; and leadership experiences.
    University of Washington United we Dream Our focus is supporting middle and high school students in the greater Puget Sound area with college access and post-secondary planning through near peer mentorship.
    Washington State Gear Up Resources to prepare for college.
    Washington Career Bridge Explore Careers. View Job Trends.
    Washington State Community and Technical Colleges Finding the right career involves more than guesswork. You need to know which jobs are in-demand; what they pay; and how they match to your interests and strengths. Get started here.
    Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board Financial aid information and scholarships.

     

    OTHER

    Resource Description
    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax agency that houses important information and tax benefits relating to education.
    Student Exchange Programs Through our Professional Student Exchange Program some 14000 professionals – most in healthcare – have received home-state support when enrolled in programs in another Western state; the majority of them remain in the region to practice their careers. In 2014-15 some 660 students enrolled in the program which offers 10 fields of professional education.
    TurboTax College and education tax tips.

    COVID-19 Resources

    By Lauri Hennessey, League of Education Voters CEO

     

    Dear Friends,

    By now, many of you have heard that all public and private schools in Washington state will be closed at least through April 24th due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Here at League of Education Voters, our mission is to put students first, “working with families, educators, and leaders to build a brighter future for every Washington student.”

    How do we do that in today’s uncertain world?

    First of all: we should not dispute the decisions made by Governor Inslee, Superintendent Reykdal, and local school districts. These decisions are agonizing and not made lightly. We all need to support our leaders in education.

    However, there are severe costs. No matter what we do, kids are going to fall behind in the next month because of this health crisis. This will be the first time some school districts try to offer distance learning to all students, and we don’t know how it will work, especially for those in grades PreK-5. The ramifications in all of our schools will be huge.

    Beyond that, there are other impacts on the families we represent. Many parents cannot afford to take six weeks (or more) away from their jobs, don’t have the ability to work from home, or cannot take extended sick leave. What happens to these parents? And what about the kids who rely on free and reduced-price meals? How will extended closures affect our most vulnerable children?

    With all of these realities, I find it reassuring to try to focus on what we CAN do. The League will be a clearinghouse of information. Here are a few resources to start off: Read More

    High School and Beyond Plan 101

    By Ingrid Stegemoeller, Communications Manager, Ready Washington
    Guest Blogger

    Who am I? What can I become? How will I become that? These are questions many of us ask throughout our lives – starting at an early age and, often, continuing through adulthood. Here at Ready Washington, these are questions we urge students to consider early and often, with support from counselors, teachers, family, and other caring adults. Our coalition provides resources and information to support students in planning their education-to-career paths – whichever paths they choose.

    The main pathway planning effort in our state is the High School and Beyond Plan process (HSBP), a graduation requirement that enables every student to plan for and pursue education or training and careers after high school. Students’ minds can change as they grow and develop new goals, and the Plan is designed to be flexible and adaptable as students review and update their Plan each year. Read More