Recap: What to Expect in the 2021 Legislative Session

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern

 

WACapitolLegislativeBldgThe Washington state Legislative Session started this Monday, where hundreds of bills concerning early learning, safe and supportive schools, local levies/LEA, special education, etc. are being introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives.

In this webinar, League of Education Voters Director of Policy and Research Jacob Vela and government relations consultant Carey Morris give an overview of the 2021 legislative landscape, outline our priorities for the 2021 legislative session, and answer questions.

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Childcare Essential for Economic Recovery and on the Brink of Disaster

By Susan Brown, President and CEO of Kids Co.
Guest Blogger

 

Susan Brown, President and CEO of Kids Co.

There is no doubt amongst business leaders, elected officials, employers, and employees that without childcare, economic recovery will be virtually impossible. The harsh reality is that if childcare centers don’t get financial relief soon, families will have even fewer options for care when they feel it is safe to send their children again. The number of families who need care now is not enough to sustain childcare. And the child care businesses who do have savings to draw upon to stay open in the short term may still close as the pandemic continues.

Childcare businesses are struggling to stay open. The cost of care is higher than most working families can afford so childcare businesses are subsidizing that care at substantial losses. In March 2020 Kids Co. was providing care to 889 kids. As of today, there are 63 kids enrolled. Kids Co. is experiencing a nearly 100% decrease in enrollment. Kids Co. is not alone. Dozens of programs in Seattle are experiencing drastically low enrollment. Read More

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

Podcast – The 2021 Washington state Teachers of the Year

From Top Left: Brooke Brown, Ben Ballew, Megan Anderson Reilly, Devin Bauer, Chenoa Meagher, David Buitenveld, Erin Lark, Jackie Hentges, David Tracewell

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks the 2021 Washington state Teachers of the Year about their teaching philosophy, their greatest accomplishment in the classroom, how they would make teaching better in Washington state, what advice they would give a new teacher, what motivation they still carry with them from their first day in the classroom, how the COVID pandemic has impacted their work, what school districts can do to better support teachers, and what advice they would give to parents and educators during this time. We were honored to interview:

Brooke Brown, 2021 Washington state Teacher of the Year and Regional Teacher of the Year from Puget Sound Educational Service District 121, who teaches English and Ethnic Studies at Washington High School in the Franklin Pierce School District

Ben Ballew, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Northwest Educational Service District 189, who teaches English at Arlington High School in the Arlington School District

Megan Anderson Reilly, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Educational Service District 105, who teaches Spanish at AC Davis High School in the Yakima School District

Devin Bauer, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Northeast Educational Service District 101, who is a Special Education Department Head and Learning Center teacher at Lakeside High School in the Nine Mile Falls School District

Chenoa Meagher, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Educational Service District 123, who teaches kindergarten at Sagecrest Elementary School in the Kennewick School District

David Buitenveld, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Capital Region Educational Service District 113, who teaches mathematics and is a remote learning coach at Nisqually Middle School in the North Thurston School District

Erin Lark, 2021 Regional teacher of the Year from Educational Service District 112, who science and STEM at iTech Preparatory School in the Vancouver School District

Jackie Hentges, 2021 Regional teacher of the Year from North Central Educational Service District 171, who teaches science at Brewster Middle School in the Brewster School District

David Tracewell, 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year from Olympic Region Educational Service District 114, who teaches English and Media Communications at Klahowya Secondary School in the Central Kitsap School District

 

Listen:

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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

Recap: Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness in the Time of COVID

By Lizzeth Mancilla
Engagement and Policy Intern

 

Jolene Grimes Edwards (L), ChrisTiana ObeySumner (C), Avanti Bergquist (R)

COVID-19 has greatly impacted every aspect of our lives, from working to shopping, our health, and our social lives. However, homeless youth are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. The coronavirus disease further burdens these students who don’t have a permanent home, a place to take online classes, a support system, reliable internet access, food, etc.

In this webinar, Dr. Avanti Bergquist of the Renton School Board, Principal Jolene Grimes Edwards of Neah Bay High School, and social justice advocate ChrisTiana ObeySumner shared stories, personal experiences, and advice on how to best support students experiencing homelessness.

This LEVinar was co-hosted with our partner Building Changes, an organization focused on supporting students experiencing homelessness. Building Changes works across and within the education, health, and housing systems to address the needs of students and families impacted by Washington state’s housing crises. Through research, programming, and advocacy, Building Changes promotes equitable responses to support students and families experiencing homelessness across the state. Read More

Podcast – Tequilla Brownie of TNTP on The Opportunity Myth

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks Dr. Tequilla Brownie, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Policy & Community Coalitions at TNTP, about their groundbreaking report titled The Opportunity Myth, how she recommends that teachers and schools connect with students during this time of COVID, and what she would change about our education system if there were no budgetary constraints.

TNTP currently works with South Shore PreK-8 in South Seattle, a close partner of League of Education Voters.

 

Listen:

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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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The Time for Action on Racial Equity Is Now

By Raymond Fenton
Guest Blogger

 

Across Washington state, most students have already completed little over a month of remote learning. As some adjust to this new normal and begin to settle, others are faced with adjusting to a little more than virtual classrooms and limited social interactions with peers. While we endure COVID-19, we are also witnessing, perhaps, the largest civil rights movement in America’s history.

As protests for Black lives intensify our focus on race and racism, and the pandemic increases strain on our economy and healthcare system, social inequalities across the nation could not be more visible. So where does that leave our most vulnerable in the education system?

That was the topic of Thursday’s virtual event: Racial Equity in Education, where the uniqueness, opportunity, and gravity of this pivotal moment was distinguished. “Now is the time.” That was the charge from Brooke Brown, 2021 WA state Teacher of the Year, as she addressed the audience yesterday. Read More

Podcast – 2021 Washington state Teacher of the Year Brooke Brown

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks 2021 Washington state Teacher of the Year Brooke Brown why it is important for students to feel safe and that they belong in school, how she recommends that teachers connect with students during this time of remote learning, and what advice she has for parents during this challenging time.

 

Listen:

 

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