December 22, 2017 Policy Brief

This will be our last policy brief of 2017. We’ll return with our weekly brief on January 5th and continue throughout the legislative session.

December 1: Academic Acceleration
December 8: Early Warning Systems
December 15: Early Literacy
December 22: 2017 highlights 

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • January 8: First day of 2018 Legislative Session
  • February 2: Policy Committee Bill Cut-Off
  • February 6: Fiscal Committee Bill Cut-Off
  • February 14: House of Origin Cut-Off

2017 Highlights

This year has been one long conversation about improving public education in Washington. Before we move on into 2018, let’s reflect on some of our wins:

  • With the passage of HB 2242, the state legislature made its move to shift the burden of education spending from the local to the state level. With that came some significant progress for the students who need it most:
  • $912 million increase over 4 years for targeted student-centered programing, including the critical Learning Assistance Program and Career and Technical Education
  • the creation of a high-poverty concentration funding stream for schools with student populations where more than 50% of student are on Free and Reduced Price Lunch
  • ending the “staff mix” state formula for school funding that was creating inequity between districts and sending more money to districts who already had higher average teacher salaries

Moving into 2018, Stand for Children is focused on policies that will directly impact student achievement by directing the existing funding streams to where they are needed most.

Key Numbers 

  • Washington is ranked 40th in the country for our high school graduation rates.
  • Students of color represent a third of students in Washington, but are represented at miniscule rates in gifted programs and advanced courses.
  • 1/9 of the student cohort that would’ve graduated high school in 2016 dropped out.
  • Students from low-income families are reading at significantly lower rates (33%) than the third grade average (53%).

Social Media Chatter

@edvoters: New podcast: League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman sat down with Lisa Wellman, Chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. Listen now: 

What We're Reading

Principal Lori Wyborney has reached outside the walls to change the culture within Rogers High School – Spokesman-Review
“Our kids needed more hands on heads and eyes on them from people who know them well enough to say, ‘Hey I know you can do this,’ ” she said. “A lot of kids in low-income homes don’t believe that they can. A lot of our work was convincing them that, ‘yeah, you can do this.’ ”

Most Students Who Get Sent to Juvenile Court for Truancy in Washington are Low-Income - KNKX
“Almost all of the kids who wind up in the juvenile court system for unexcused absences – 93 percent – come from low-income families…In recent years, though, there’s been a statewide push to encourage schools to intervene earlier and limit the use of juvenile court for kids who habitually miss school. Truancy petitions to juvenile court dropped 25 percent in the most recent school year.”

Thank you for reading our summary. Please share any questions or feedback you may have with Katie Gustainis,

We look forward to hearing from you.

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