Why We Need Inclusive Education

By Washington LYAC  Micah Fitzgerald, Hiro Hirano-Holcomb, Natasha Kalombo, Stacy Osoria, and Shreya Shaji
Guest Bloggers


Students from the Washington state Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) on why we need inclusive education
From top left: Micah Fitzgerald, Hiro Hirano-Holcomb, Natasha Kalombo, Stacy Osoria, and Shreya Shaji

This year, the Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) is proud to introduce an important education bill into session: Senate Bill 5441. This bill implements inclusive education for students written by students of the LYAC.

(Note: Although SB 5441 did not advance in the 2023 Legislative Session, key elements of it were amended into Senate Bill 5462)

The Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) is a group composed of 24 geographically, ideologically, and socioeconomically diverse students aged 14-18. We are the first official nonpartisan voice of youth in the Washington state Legislature and work under the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for youth all over Washington state by making sure their voices and opinions are heard in the Legislature.

The whole idea behind writing this bill was that education inherently should be something that is inclusive and has diverse perspectives and histories interwoven into the fabric of curriculums. Read More

Puget Sound Educational Service District 2023 Regional Teacher of the Year Shane Monroe on Elevating Student Voice Within Classroom Communities

Shane Monroe

As the Puget Sound Educational Service District 121 Regional Teacher of the Year, serving as a spokesperson and representative for teachers and students, my message is a call to action to elevate student voice. Stuvoice.org, the by-students, for-students nonprofit advocating for student-driven solutions to educational inequity, defines student voice as: “recognizing and acting upon the fact that students are the primary stakeholders of our education and should be partners in shaping it.” Student Voice’s work is guided by the belief that “equity and justice within our schools will only be achieved when power is meaningfully shifted towards young people, particularly toward students with identities who are most marginalized by our nation’s education system.”

When reflecting on stuvoice.org’s mission statement as an elementary educator, the initial thought of giving our youngest students the power to make decisions within our classroom communities is… startling at best. However, it is important to pause and recognize the word power should not directly translate to full and total control, in any capacity of its context. Within the classroom, power should be thought of as emphasizing continued elevation of ideas and feedback from our students. Read More

Washington Game Changers Podcast – Critical Race Theory Scholar Edwin Lindo

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, League of Education Voters CEO Lauri Hennessey talks with Edwin Lindo, a Critical Race Theory scholar at the University of Washington. Professor Lindo addresses the controversy around Critical Race Theory, clarifying what it is and also how incredibly important it is that students learn about our true history. You can find more about him on Twitter @edwinlindo.


Book recommendations from Estelita’s Library:



Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts, or Spreaker.


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Ways to Take Action to Support the Black Community

By Lauri Hennessey, League of Education Voters CEO


Students at South Shore PreK-8 in Seattle

Today, our offices are closed in solidarity with the Statewide Silent March and General Strike led by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. Our closure today will provide a dedicated opportunity for everyone at League of Education Voters (LEV) to focus on the inward and outward work of dismantling racism, ending police brutality, and supporting Black lives. Everyone will engage in different ways, whether that is through reading books, watching documentaries, or participating in the statewide protest. For some, it may just mean thinking deeply or talking to friends and family. For others, it may be taking time for quiet reflection. No matter what, today is only part of a longer and deeper journey, as we dedicate ourselves to learning from our collective racist history and taking action.

One way you can take action is to help organizations making a profound difference in the Black community. Here are just a few: Read More