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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Washington Game Changers Podcast – Marty Hartman of Mary’s Place

Washington Game Changers with Lauri Hennessey features leaders who give back to our community, drive innovative solutions, and inspire others in making our state more equitable and just. This podcast is a one-on-one conversation with these powerful leaders in a time when we need to hear about more good in the world.

In this episode, Lauri talks to Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place, an organization founded on the principle that no one’s child should sleep outside. Mary’s Place provides safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness.

Marty Hartman talks about homelessness in Seattle, the impact of COVID-19 on families living in homelessness, and what you may not know about families who experience homelessness. Marty also shares inspirational stories about families doing their best with their kids during this tough time of socially-distanced learning and living through the pandemic.

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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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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

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

 

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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

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.

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Watch our LEVinar with Superintendents from Across Washington state on Racial Equity and Going Back to School

As plans for the 2020-21 school year are being finalized, school districts across Washington state are focusing on racial equity while developing updated learning plans, and students, parents, and educators are trying to navigate new systems and expectations.

In this webinar, Highline Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Kent School District Superintendent Dr. Calvin Watts, Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid, Bellingham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Baker, Kennewick School District Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce, and Davenport School District Superintendent Jim Kowalkowski share how racial equity is being addressed during this historic time, describe what school will look like in their districts for the start of the 2020-21 school year, outline what kinds of support school districts in Washington need from the state as the school year gets underway, and answer questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Watch our LEVinar with WA state Teachers of the Year on What Students Need for Going Back to School

These are unprecedented times in Washington state. School districts are finalizing plans for reopening schools, and many have chosen online and hybrid learning models. But how have the COVID-19 school closures impacted students, and how can we best support them in the fall?

In this webinar, Washington state Teachers of the Year Amy Campbell (2020), Robert Hand (2019), Mandy Manning (2018, and the 2018 National Teacher of the Year), Camille Jones (2017), and Nate Bowling (2016) share what they are hearing from students, parents, and colleagues in their community, share what students need to begin the 2020-21 school year, and answer your questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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