I feel lucky to be part of Spokane Public Schools where “Excellence for Everyone” is a goal I feel we are actively working towards and not just a slogan we say. I am well aware that isn’t yet true for all students currently with our inclusion rates for special education, but I feel our current school board is taking steps to get us closer to that goal. That’s why I’ll be paying close attention to the school board candidates on my ballot this month - because I’m looking to elect members who will continue this board’s work on equity and inclusion.
Being the parent of three unique students with different interests, abilities, and needs means I want a school board dedicated to putting in the time, effort, and commitment to make sure ALL students have the chance at unlocking their fullest potential. We need a board focused on building relationships with families and the community where diverse perspectives are respected and heard with open minds and hearts. We need elected officials who are knowledgeable about what equity looks like and who are committed to doing the work to ensure it is happening.
I want all of my children to have an equal chance at success - that is why it is most important to me to elect people who are passionate about inclusion for our students in special education. The current board is making strides towards prioritizing an inclusive culture in every school for ALL students. Electing board members who aren’t committed to this work would significantly impact my oldest son’s chances at graduation. In our own district, we can see the clear impact on students when our leadership is not committed to inclusive policy. One school that doesn’t follow the new inclusion model has a graduation rate of 57.1% for students with IEPs, while another school that does follow the inclusion model has a graduation rate is 81.5% for this student group (OSPI Report Card).
I hope you will be considering who you will vote for in this very important board election in Spokane Public Schools. Each of us can have an active part in ensuring excellence for everyone - ALL students - from diverse backgrounds, different cultures, with varying abilities, but all with bright futures of untold potential. To learn more about the upcoming election in your area, visit https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote,