Jobs & Internships

Thank you for your interest in working at League of Education Voters. We are recruiting for the following positions:

Engagement Intern

League of Education Voters has an exciting opportunity for an individual committed to improving educational outcomes for Washington students and interested in learning about the operations of a non-profit organization. We are seeking an intern to assist in our communications and policy research work. The intern will work closely with our Communications Director, Policy Analyst, and Operations Manager. The position will be full-time and compensated at $18/hr. Preferred availability is late May through August.  This position is ideal for a college or a 2-year program graduate pursuing a career in communications, policy, philanthropy, or nonprofit work.

Read more about the position and apply



If you are interested in an internship, please contact fill out the form below:

Resources for Juniors & Seniors

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



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



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.
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.



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.



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

Annual Report

League of Education Voters Foundation 2018-2019 Annual ReportLeague of Education Voters Foundation engages in our work in multiple ways — soliciting feedback from communities about their needs, researching best practice and impact of existing policies, providing robust and nuanced information to the public and decision-makers about the issues most impacting students in our system, and working with partners and communities to push for change.

Across all of our policy issue areas in 2018–19, showcased in our annual report, we endeavor to create systems that serve and support students furthest from opportunity and most impacted by systems that do not recognize or are not designed to address their needs. Throughout this report, you will see these approaches in our community work, research, and policy advocacy — whether it’s through advocating a restructure of our funding systems, increasing access to programs, or rethinking how we design classrooms. In order to do this work authentically and effectively, we are also embarking on our own internal organizational journey around equity, how we engage and walk alongside and with communities and families, and our role in making institutional changes.

We are excited about the work we have accomplished together, eager for the work ahead, and happy to reflect on it with you.

Read the full report: League of Education Voters Foundation Annual Report 2018-2019 (PDF)

Our Work

Early Childhood Education

Early learning in and out of the home ensures students arrive at kindergarten ready to learn and thrive. State investments in early learning seek to close opportunity and achievement gaps by focusing on students who may otherwise have limited access to high-quality early learning environments. LEV has supported strong investments in early learning environments for many years based on the research about the links between early learning and kindergarten readiness as a determinant for school success.

Over the past several years, our research shows that many families have seen an erosion in their ability to pay for locally-available high-quality childcare programs due to increasing costs. During the past two legislative sessions, we have advocated for the state to close these income-based opportunity gaps by investing more in both Washington’s highly successful state-subsidized preschool program, the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), and by supporting parents to access other quality early learning settings for children 0-5 years old through increasing state reimbursement rates to childcare providers. We also supported another key program for families — a larger investment in home visiting programs — a research-proven, targeted strategy to increase academic outcomes and decrease the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.

The legislature did make several important investments in early childhood over the past two years, increasing the reimbursement rate for ECEAP preschool providers and childcare providers that implement Early Achievers (a quality program). They also expanded eligibility for kids experiencing risk factors but above the income eligibility threshold, and launched planning for an earlier (age) start to ECEAP services for low-income kids. Additional funding was also provided to expand access to home visiting services, and the capital budget for 2019-2021 invested over $30 million for early learning projects across the state.

To support our early childhood education advocacy efforts, LEV published guest blogs by families who benefited from ECEAP, and presented a podcast interview with Heather Moss, Deputy Director of the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). During the 2019 session, LEV early childhood learning supporters sent nearly 1,200 emails to legislators calling out the importance of early education and family support.

What’s next: LEV recognizes the importance of high-quality early learning for all children to be ready to enter kindergarten. In 2020, we will continue to support and collaborate with partners across the early learning landscape, working to assure adequate investment in high-quality options for preschool and childcare for children who need access. We will also look for options to support linkages between early learning environments and kindergarten, both at the system and policy levels, and how data and research can support ongoing work. We will continue to work with our community partners across the state and amplify the stories of parents and providers. We believe Washington can and should do more to provide a robust, high-quality system of early learning opportunities for young children as a key strategy to close gaps in educational outcomes.

Paying for K-12 Education

As a result of the Washington Supreme Court’s McCleary case addressing basic education funding, the legislature invested an additional $8.3 billion in state revenues into K-12 in 2017 and 2018.

However, despite progress in the total amount of state money for schools, little progress was made to distribute the money more effectively and equitably, meaning the additional investments may not have the desired impact on improving student outcomes and closing gaps. To address these issues related to strengthening our system, LEV advocated for (1 ) student-centered funding

structures that target resources based on the needs of students, (2) increased transparency on how school districts around the state spend their resources, and (3) fair access to enrichment funds (beyond the state’s required investment in basic education), both for local levy revenues and additional state dollars (local effort assistance) for all local education agencies (school districts, charter public schools, and tribal compact schools).

Because we believe communities deserve and need full information about how education is funded, LEV utilized interactive maps, produced a Local Levy FAQ, and hosted educational webinars to educate policymakers and communities around Washington on the impact of the funding changes and continued inequities. We also argued our case in editorial board visits and media submissions. During the 2019 session, LEV supporters contributed to our equitable education finance advocacy efforts by sending nearly 500 emails to legislators.

Though we were disappointed that funding targeted to student needs was not part of the overall funding approach, special education services received a modest fund increase in both 2018 and 2019, which is a partial win and down payment for the 155,000 eligible students. LEV is also glad for required transparency of how state and local dollars are spent at the local level, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. This additional information will allow families, policymakers, and opinion leaders to determine if resources are getting to students who need it the most. The Legislature in 2019 also ultimately allowed some districts to raise additional levy dollars (reversing its earlier action to limit levies due to the state’s duty to fund education), but this still results in unequal access to funding. (Money through levies and state local effort assistance funds are intended for local enrichments, and the unequal property values across the state and a lower cap impacts what some districts can raise.)

What’s next: With enhanced state investments and formula adjustments that fund education, it is important to fully understand the implications of these investments, including possible unintended consequences and continued inequities. LEV will continue to work toward a transparent system for investments that both direct and track dollars to the student level, and continue to advocate for fully-funded, fair investments across the state. Over the next several years, we expect to monitor investments, seek to understand differences in student outcomes, and work with our partners to champion equity-based investments to meet the specific learning needs of students across Washington. We will do this by putting students in the center of the funding equation.

School Climate

Students learn most effectively when their schools feel safe, inclusive, supportive, and respectful. Creating positive school climates and providing student supports (caring adults with specialized skills and access to targeted resources that meet students where they are) can mitigate the impacts of trauma, mental health needs, and other non-academic factors that affect a student’s ability to engage in learning. These are instrumental in closing opportunity and achievement gaps and improving student outcomes.

In both the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions, we advocated for increased support staff such as nurses, counselors, and social workers, training for school staff in social emotional learning (SEL) and addressing trauma, and increased access to student mental health services. In 2019, we advocated for increasing capacity in schools and districts to successfully implement specific strategies to address these needs. We supported protocols and benchmarks that, when fully implemented, will assure that students receive wrap-around supports.

LEV also continued to promote broad public awareness of opportunities to improve school climates through webinars on concrete practices to support students impacted by complex trauma, the proposed state changes to disciplinary rules for schools, and an expert webinar on how to implement mental health supports in schools. Through our field work, we supported the Every Student Counts Alliance (ESCA), a group of advocates, parents, and community leaders seeking to reform school discipline in Spokane, and convened parent training sessions and roundtables where students met with local legislators in the Tri-Cities area. During the 2019 session, LEV supporters contributed to our school climate advocacy efforts by sending nearly 20,000 emails to legislators — the highest engagement of any of our issue areas. LEV also published podcasts on mental and physical health supports for students, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and on social emotional learning (SEL).

The legislature in 2018 and 2019 discussed a number of proposals to increase supports in schools. These discussions resulted in the creation of a children’s mental health workgroup, a school safety and student well-being workgroup, and the adoption of the Social Emotional Learning benchmarks developed by the state. Unfortunately, the legislature did not fund any staffing level increases in school nurses, counselors, or social workers. However, one of the state-funded professional development days must now be used for training in student well-being related topics, such as trauma-informed instruction, social emotional learning, or mental health first aid.

What’s next: LEV will continue to support policies and strategies that enhance inclusivity, belonging, and supports for all children, with an eye towards ensuring that children who need more support have access to more support. For LEV in 2020, this means strategically monitoring implementation of the state’s new disciplinary rules to be rolled out in the 2019-20 school year, working with parents, families, and academic leaders to assure that the types of wrap-around supports needed for students experiencing trauma or crisis are in place, and that teachers are equipped with the tools they need to promote positive school climates. It also means monitoring the new workgroups and committees and helping to identify smart solutions that promote student well-being, and continuing to champion policies and approaches, such as a stronger special education system, that will better meet the needs of students in positive school climates.

College and Career Readiness / Ensuring Access to College and Career Choices

A credential after high school — either a certificate, two-year, or four-year degree — will be necessary for 70% of Washington jobs by 2020. In order to prepare students for family-wage jobs, we need to ensure that a high school diploma in Washington is meaningful and robust, and that students in college and on career pathways have the supports necessary to complete their degree or credential. Over the past decade, Washington and other states have enacted policies and practices intended to strengthen student outcomes, both to boost graduation rates, and to assure a strong diploma, including linking passage of the state assessment with graduation. In addition, Washington acted to improve college and career counseling by requiring a ‘High School and Beyond Plan’ for every student, expanding offerings of college credit for certain high school courses (‘dual credit’), and requiring 24 credits to graduate. In 2018 and 2019, we advocated to continue rigorous standards for graduation, as the legislature added alternatives to passing the state assessment. We also conducted research to determine how the policy was impacting different groups of students.

Increasing graduation requirements from 21 to 24 credits aimed to address persistent barriers preventing students from being prepared for success in life after high school. These barriers include not meeting all course requirements for entry into Washington’s four-year public universities, repeating classes at college that could have been taken in high school, and ‘tracking’ of students of color and students from low-income households away from college. Since the 24-credit law is intended to remove barriers to post-secondary education for all Washington students — and only two-thirds of districts are currently implementing it — LEV sought to understand the slow path to full implementation of this policy through targeted research on implementation of the 24-credit diploma.

Besides strong foundations, in order to prepare students for family-wage jobs, we need to increase access to, enrollment in, and completion of postsecondary programs — particularly for students who are historically and systemically underserved and underrepresented in our postsecondary institutions.

Each of these pieces requires policy and systems supports that are intentional and lift up students to their highest potential. As part of the Washington College Promise Coalition, LEV advocated over the past two years to increase equitable access to higher education by fully funding the Washington College Grant (formerly known as the State Need Grant) for low-income students and continued funding for the College Bound Scholarship, including for non-citizen students with specific immigration statuses. In 2019, LEV supporters contributed to these advocacy efforts by sending nearly 1,800 emails to legislators. Over a two-year period, the legislature acted not only to increase funding for the Washington College Grant but stepped up investments to reach full funding of the grant in the 2020-21 school year so that every income-eligible student will have the support that they need, eliminating the wait-list. This is a huge step forward for Washington’s students, and we thank the legislature for its expanded investment in students’ futures.

LEV also testified in favor of other supports for college students needing specific assistance to be able to work alongside their classmates, such as subsidized childcare for full-time students. In these ways, we are opening the doors for all students to be able to be successful as they enter the college pathway of their choosing.

What’s next: Our research focus in 2019 studies how new policies may be helping to close gaps in college and career preparation through adequate planning, information, exposure, and access to needed courses. We are working with districts, parents, and students to understand how the state’s High School and Beyond Plan is being implemented, available dual credit opportunities, and career technical education (CTE) options. LEV will pursue potential advocacy that comes out of our research about what districts actually need to implement these policies to ensure that every student has access to all of the academic and preparatory opportunities, regardless of where they live. We also look forward to the incredible boost to our college-going population that the fully funded Washington College Grant will provide.

Special Education

Our current system of providing programming to the 155,000 Washington students requiring special education services is insufficient in both the funding and outcomes for students. Washington lags behind other states in graduation and rates of inclusion for our students, all of whom are capable of advancing in their learning. For the 2019 legislative session, LEV and partners co-launched the Investing in Student Potential coalition to create comprehensive changes to the funding structures for special education, creating equity for students in small local education agencies (school districts, charter public schools, and tribal compact schools), reducing stigma, and educating and supporting legislators to provide services that promote inclusion and transition.

In 2019, we advocated for a state funding system that provides sufficient funds for students with disabilities, improving how we support and prepare educators to better meet the needs of students with disabilities, as well as increasing the accessibility and transparency of information on special education funding, spending, and data (i.e. improved reporting of student outcome data disaggregated by race and/or disability type to better understand how students are being served).

The 2019 legislative session saw the most conversation on special education of any session in recent memory. Legislators exhibited a commitment to addressing the shortfalls in funding and learning about the necessary systems and programming changes to improve outcomes for students receiving special education services. There were a number of proposals and promising conversations about investments in professional development, family advocates, and demonstration sites to implement best practices. While these policy proposals did not make it into any final legislation, the groundwork has been laid for future efforts to create more inclusive schools to better meet the needs of every student. The legislature increased funding for special education services in both the 2018 and 2019 sessions, and in 2019 made a one-time investment of $25 million in professional development for educators on inclusive practices.

To support our advocacy efforts, LEV hosted webinars on the special education landscape in Washington and special education from a rural and urban perspective. We also published a podcast featuring Glenna Gallo, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Services at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The Investing in Student Potential Advocacy Day brought nearly 150 parents and students from across the state to meet with 47 legislators. During the 2019 session, LEV supporters contributed by sending 1,200 emails to legislators.

What’s next: LEV’s work in special education supports the many different individual and organizational advocates who have for decades supported best practices and inclusionary models, recognizing that all students can learn. As we champion an equitable education system, we will continue to support special education funding models, opportunities for professional development, and practices that result in significantly higher gains for all students who are eligible for special education services. Our special education work links with our school climate and education funding work to establish the best possible outcomes for students. Through ongoing work with our partners in the Investing in Student Potential coalition, we will design strategic campaigns to elevate and resolve these policy challenges for our state.

Increasing Personalized Learning Experiences

Learning Opportunities Outside the School Day and Year

A student doesn’t stop learning when the afternoon bell rings — learning needed for college and career preparation happens through activities, interactions, and experiences throughout a student’s day. Students need access to high-quality, expanded learning opportunities before and after school, and in the summer, to deepen and enhance their learning in and out of the classroom. These strategies tie to our school climate work, our special education work, funding for K-12 work, and our work on college and career preparation and college access.

In 2018 and 2019, LEV advocated with the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Network for an additional state $2M investment in the Expanded Learning Opportunities Quality Initiative that would increase the number of youth who can be served by high-quality programs, along with support for programs in foster care, students experiencing homelessness, or youth involved in the juvenile justice system. We also advocated for the creation of a strategic workgroup to develop a statewide agency coordinating strategy to prevent involvement in these systems as much as possible — through increasing access to known programs that boost youth success. Recognizing the importance of providing career and work-based exploration opportunities for all students, we advocated with the Career Connect Washington Initiative for additional funding for afterschool and summer learning opportunities. LEV supporters contributed to our advocacy efforts by sending nearly 2,000 emails to legislators about the importance of investing in these types of approaches and opportunities.

In both the 2018 and 2019 sessions, the legislature provided $750,000 to the ELO Quality Initiative for program continuation. No additional funding for career and work-based exploration opportunities was included in the state budget, and the strategic workgroup has not yet been created.

What’s next: We will continue to support strategies that ensure that students have access to high-quality afterschool and summer programming, targeted to students furthest from opportunity.

Supporting Public School Options

Some students may need access to different learning environments such as those offered in Washington’s charter public schools. Foundations for a strong educational experience recognize that every learner is unique and that we need to meet learners where they are. This approach ties to our special education work and our school climate work.

Washington’s charter public schools offer project-based and other learning environments that may work best for some students. LEV continues to advocate for Washington’s charter public schools to have access to equitable public financing and to recognize the unique environments that they provide for Washington’s public school students.

In order for charter public schools to be successful, and since charter public schools cannot access local levy funds, we support access to enrichment funds from the state of Washington so that the schools can continue to support their students and remain financially viable. Charter public schools serve, on average, more students with disabilities and other higher-need students than their surrounding district, so it is vital that they have access to the resources necessary to meet student needs.

What’s Next: Looking forward, LEV will continue to support strategies that recognize the need to fund charter public schools in an equitable manner to support the public school students whom they serve.

South Shore PreK-8

Just as League of Education Voters advocates for student-centered policies at the state level to give every student what they need to be successful at school, through our work with the Opportunities for Education Foundation we provide a grant to South Shore PreK-8, located in the heart of Seattle’s Rainier Valley, to implement those same strategies at the local level. South Shore is among the most diverse schools in the state: 45% of students are Black, 24% of students are Asian, 11% of students are two or more races, 10% of students are Latino, 8% of students are White, and 1% of students are Native American. One-quarter of students are English Language Learners (ELL), 9% of students are experiencing homelessness, 68% of students are in low-income families, and 15% of students have disabilities.

The South Shore grant aims to support the well-being and development of every aspect of a child, and therefore touches many parts of the school experience for students. For 2018-19, the major area of investment has been the adoption and implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, which are specific, personalized interventions based on a student’s unique needs.

Aligned with LEV’s advocacy for supportive, safe schools and trauma-informed practice, LEV partially funds a Wellness Team that provides students with reliable and consistent access to mental health services. A full-time clinical specialist is available on-site to children experiencing trauma in their lives in the forms of community violence, housing instability, and family trauma. The team also helps teachers effectively support students with behavioral issues, and over the past two years the out-of-school discipline rate has dropped dramatically from 7.3% to 2.9% as more teachers feel equipped to keep students in class, thus reducing lost learning time.

In the area of high-quality Early Childhood Education, LEV has supported the PreK program at South Shore since 2011, and the South Shore pilot influenced a successful initiative to bring PreK to all Seattle district schools beginning in 2014. The program continues to have strong outcomes. In 2018-19, 87% of South Shore kindergarten students entered school kindergarten-ready, compared to just 82% of students meeting that measure across the district. Considering 90% of kindergarten students attended preschool at South Shore, it’s clear that the PreK program should be credited for kindergarten readiness.

What’s next: League of Education Voters Foundation continues to support the South Shore PreK-8 school and will be working with the school on several evaluation options to assess program impact during the 2019-2020 school year.

Read the full report: League of Education Voters Foundation Annual Report 2018-2019 (PDF)


Love what we do? Support our work

Want to find out the latest in education news in Washington? Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to learn more about League of Education Voters? Find out here

2019 Legislative Priority: Access to Postsecondary Opportunities

By League of Education Voters Policy Team

We believe students come first. We are focused first and foremost on meeting the needs of every student.

We are dedicated to designing an equitable education system that serves all students based on their strengths, supports their needs, and provides the resources they need to be successful.

We are committed to working to close gaps experienced by historically and systemically underserved students— including students of color, students in poverty, students qualifying for special education services, students learning English, and students impacted by trauma. We believe this will lead to all students experiencing greater success and reaching their full potential.


Postsecondary Education 2019 Legislative Priority Issue Brief - League of Education Voters18,000 State Need Grant eligible students attending Washington higher education institutions are not currently receiving a State Need Grant because the program has not been fully funded by the legislature.


The legislature established the State Need Grant (SNG) fifty years ago to increase access to higher education for low-income students. Although the SNG annually funds almost 70,000 students, the underfunding of SNG left 18,000 eligible low-income students unserved in each of the last seven years.

Over ten years ago, Washington established the College Bound Scholarship that provides financial aid to students from income-eligible families who sign a pledge in middle school that they will earn a GPA of 2.0 or higher in high school and have no felony convictions (1).

Both programs cover a portion of the cost of attendance leaving students to cover the rest of the costs via family contributions, loans, or jobs. As of 2012, the average SNG award covered 12% to 35% of the cost of attendance. On average, students cover between 14% and 28% of the cost through loans with the rest of the costs of attendance being paid through other types of aid or family and/or student-generated sources. Read More

We Must Tell Our Students WHY

By Ruvine Jiménez, Community Organizer, Pasco Field Office

Pasco Student Roundtable - League of Education VotersSince there was no public school on May 25th, 2018, League of Education Voters hosted a student roundtable with legislators serving the greater Tri-Cities region. Senator Sharon Brown and Representative Larry Haler from the 8th district, and Representative Bill Jenkin from the 16th district joined 35 students from the Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland School Districts to have lunch and participate in community café-style conversations.

It was touch-and-go whether the luncheon would happen, because legislators are busy (and there’s always the possibility of a state emergency coming up) and because you never know if students will actually attend, even when good food is promised. Students are probably the busiest of us all – trying to juggle school, sports, jobs, homework, and family life. Some students are also dependent on others for transportation. That makes events even more difficult to plan!

So if everybody is so busy and the roundtable could wind up being a non-event, is it worth going through all that trouble? Yes, Yes, Yes, YES! Read More

Rural Counselors Come Together

By Ruvine Jiménez, Community Organizer, League of Education Voters Pasco Field Office

Jamey Jo Steele (R), Mansfield School District CTE/FFA/Shop/Agriculture Teacher, and students - League of Education Voters
Jamey Jo Steele (R), Mansfield School District CTE/FFA/Shop/Agriculture Teacher, and students

The Rural Counselor Network is a major milestone/deliverable of the Rural Alliance, which was first convened in July 2010 in Spokane with 35 founding rural school districts. In June 2016, several rural district superintendents and the Mary Walker School District initiated a strategic plan for the Rural Alliance. Together they have been able to attract new members and represent 79 districts, 46,000 students, 15 colleges/universities, and non-profit organizations.

The Rural Alliance mission is, “Partnering to increase options and opportunities for rural students, families and communities.” Their vision is. “Success for every rural student, family and community.” Their values are, “Student-Centered, Relationship-Based, Equitable, Innovative, and Inclusive.”

Read More

State Bond and Levy Elections by the Numbers

By Kelly Munn, League of Education Voters State Field Director, and Jacob Vela, League of Education Voters Senior Policy Analyst

League of Education Voters - Passed Bonds and Levies in Washington 2018 GraphLast month, communities across Washington state voted on local levies to continue funding for enrichment programs and capital projects at district schools. Here are the election results and my analysis.

154 out of the 295 school districts in Washington state ran an Enrichment levy, and 150 passed. 42 levies passed because of simple majority, which is a 50-59.9% yes vote. Those districts that passed in the 50-55% range were mostly in the Puget Sound area.

24 school districts ran a bond, and 11 passed. 11 of the failed bonds would have passed with simple majority for bonds. Bonds currently pass only with a yes vote of 60% or greater.

60 school districts ran capital levies, and 51 passed.

6 school districts ran transportation levies, and 5 passed.

150 school districts passed an Enrichment levy.  It does not yet appear that the confusion around the new McCleary funding is effecting the overall passage rate across the state. 150 out of 154 school districts passed. Superintendent Jim Kowalkowski explains what passage of the levy means for his Davenport School District: “We are excited that many of the programs we offer for students (College in the High School, Satellite Skills Center, Knowledge Bowl, All-day Preschool, Project Lead the Way (STEM) courses, Choir and Drama Programs, etc., will continue to be a part of our educational offerings. We are so grateful to have such a supportive community!” Read More

How the State Need Grant Helped Me

By Nicole Portillo
Guest Blogger

State Need Grant recipient Nicole Portillo - League of Education VotersNicole Portillo is a junior at the University of Washington Tacoma Campus. A College Success Foundation alumna, she now works as a CSF Navigator, peer mentoring incoming CSF scholars. She also works as a sales advisor for Costco in Tacoma. In addition to the State Need Grant, Nicole receives financial aid through the UW Tacoma Undergrad Tuition Exemption and the College Bound Scholarship.

The State Need Grant has helped me overcome many obstacles in my life. Without the grant, I wouldn’t have been able to attend school, let alone be able to manage to pay for school.

I am a DACA recipient, which already creates many barriers when searching for scholarships because you must be a U.S. citizen to even be eligible, so I really don’t get much access to scholarships due to my status. My parents and loved ones have been my support to push through anything that comes up in my life, because every problem has a solution. The State Need Grant gives me the advantage to pursue my dreams, and provides a boost in life that everyone needs.

Read More