FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 31, 2020
Stand for Children Washington Celebrates 2020 Day of Action to Improve Student Outcomes
Volunteers from 10 cities across Washington held 43 meetings with state lawmakers
2020 legislative priorities include improving access to dual-credit courses and counseling services and ensuring equitable support for students with disabilities
WASHINGTON – Stand for Children Washington was in Olympia on Wednesday celebrating its 2020 Day of Action, the bipartisan education policy and advocacy organization’s annual grassroots event in Washington’s capitol. Stand for Children supports data-based, proven education policies including proposals that are under consideration during the 2020 Legislative Session.
The goal of Stand for Children Washington’s Day of Action is to amplify the voices of students, teachers, parents and grassroots volunteers as they share their stories and positions with our state’s elected leaders and policy makers. Volunteers from 10 cities across Washington held 43 meetings with legislators and policymakers. The 2020 Day of Action also included groups of students, educators, and family members attending policy committee hearings, touring the capitol, and stopping by the offices of their legislators on campus.
“In 2020, we are building upon the progress of 2019 and prioritizing legislation that will support the advancement of racial equity and demonstrate we understand every student has an individual path to success, and we are committed to helping meet their needs,” said Natalie Hester, Stand For Children Washington’s State Organizing Director. “We cannot build an equitable education system unless our priorities are informed by diverse and engaged voices. I am so thankful for everyone who emailed their legislator, called an elected office, drove to Olympia and spent their day sharing their stories.”
Bills corresponding with Stand for Children Washington’s legislative agenda include:
- SB 6505, expanding access to dual credit opportunities by eliminating direct costs to students and families. It was heard this morning in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.
- SB 6480/HB 2699, developing comprehensive school counseling programs. It is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday February 3rd at 1:30PM in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and is also supported by the Washington School Counselors Association
- SB 6117/HB 2258, concerning appropriations for special education programs. The Senate version was heard in the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee on January 22.
- HB 2581, removing the special education enrollment limit for funding. It was referred to House Appropriations but does not yet have a hearing.
Stand for Children Washington’s legislative agenda may be read in full on its website:
- Create a permanent source of state funding to cover all dual-credit test and course fees for students whose limited resources already qualify them for free or reduced lunch. Dual credit classes provide rigorous coursework for students who want more of a challenge, the chance to earn college credits, and the preparation students need to graduate and enroll in education and/or certification after high school.
- Improving counseling services for students. Students deserve access to a full team of adults in school who dedicate time to support their well-being and guide them in their next steps beyond graduation. School counselors, however, are increasingly becoming a catch-all for school staffing needs, and the burdens placed on these specialized professionals detracts from where they provide the most value – one-on-one with individual students. Counselors are necessary to improve student success by helping understand and identify pathways forward after high school while also helping reduce barriers for Black and Latinx students.
- Ensuring equitable support for students with disabilities. Public education should serve every student, especially those with unique needs and abilities. In order for Washington to ensure that we are serving every student, we must ensure that students with disabilities have access to the support they need in the classroom and beyond high school, regardless of the specificity or complexity of their needs.
Stand for Children Washington
Stand for Children Washington is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under‑tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability. To fulfill our mission, we organize parents and community members to speak up and demand excellent schools for their children. We work closely with state legislators to shape education policy and with school districts to implement programming that will benefit every kid. We ensure that the policies we fight for reach classrooms and directly support students by supporting school districts with guidance and tools to implement successful strategies.