Education Policy Brief - December 14, 2018

College & Career Readiness, Current Events & News | 12/21/2018

Katie Gustainis
Marketing & Communications Director, Stand for Children Washington

A summary for those closely following the education policy debate in Olympia.

Created December 14, 2018

Education Policy

The 2019 legislature kicks off session one month from today. With only a handful of education-related bills already pre-filed, there’s already a lot of conversation happening about special education, state assessments, and high school graduation requirements.

At Stand, we’re rolling out our High School Success plan for the 2019 session, which includes a laser focus on boosting high school graduation rates in Washington. As has been previously reported, there is a large gap between the number of jobs in our state that will require a post-secondary credential (2/3 of jobs) and the number of students actually achieving one by age 26 (1/3 of students). As education advocates, we’re recommending that the legislature enact a plan to improve graduation rates that is based on what’s already working for Washington students:

  • Implement Freshman Success strategies in every district
  • Create equity in advanced classrooms
  • Ensure middle & high school students have access to sufficient counseling

You can dig in and read more about our High School Success plan for the 2019 session here.

We’re also pleased to have received a resounding endorsement of the plan from the Seattle Times editorial board yesterday and are looking forward to working closely with legislators to make it a reality starting in January. 

Next brief: December 28th, 2018

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • January 14: First Day of 2019 Legislative Session, a 105-day session
  • February 22: House Policy Committee Cutoff
  • March 1: Fiscal Committee Cutoff

Key Numbers

  • 1/5: a fifth (20%) of students won’t graduate high school on time in Washington (OSPI).
  • 3.5: freshman who are on track (haven’t failed more than one course) are 3.5x more likely to graduate on time (University of Chicago).

#WAedu Social Media Chatter


What We’re Reading

Invest in programs that boost high school graduation – Seattle Times editorial board

Teacher Diversity in Washington State – Seattle Times & The Columbian collaboration

Superintendent statement on Governor Inslee proposed budget – OSPI 

The Education Policymaking Brief is produced by Stand for Children Washington, a public education advocacy organization, and was established in 2017. If you’d like to review previous briefs, they are available here.

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