Today is day two of GiveBIG, Washington’s annual collective philanthropy effort. With so many amazing causes to consider, we are grateful for the support we are receiving, which fuels our work to make our state a place where young people from every zip code, racial and gender identity, income and background can learn and nurture their genius in public schools.  

This is our first year participating in GiveBIG, and it is also a time of many firsts and transitions for Stand. We recently rolled out our new and bold articulation of our commitment to being a catalyst for education equity and racial justice statewide. We’re engaging in new bodies of work including youth justice and academic acceleration policy implementation. And we’ve recently welcomed some fantastic new folks to the Stand team.  

Stand’s two newest team members, Carolina Fuentes and Megan Pirie, have offered their reflections about what excites them the most about Stand’s work and mission: 

Megan Pirie, Community Engagement Coordinator

“I joined Stand for Children to share in this necessary work of creating a world where all rights and freedoms are restored and protected. As a previous teen and incarcerated mom who grew up below the poverty line, I struggled to overcome barriers to access education and basic human rights. But as a child I watched my parents attend meetings at the schools and speak out on the difficult topics, modeling leadership for me and my six siblings, including my brother who was diagnosed with Autism in high school. This prepared my siblings and me to become first-generation college graduates, and it equipped me to advocate as the mother of five beautiful black children, four of whom are a part of our family by adoption via the foster system. I am most excited to see and be a part of the youth justice advocacy and anti-racist education work that Stand is doing to eliminate the school to prison pipeline and ensure not just access but supports and success for all children and families.” (Read more about Megan here)

Carolina Fuentes, Stand’s State Operations and Development Coordinator 

“Our education systems need improvement and that must start with ensuring black and brown communities have the needed resources to set students up for success. I joined Stand for Children because I want to improve accessibility to quality educational resources and spaces where children of color feel confident and supported.  I am a proud daughter of immigrant parents who came to this country to secure a better life for themselves and their children. Navigating the school system, I experienced a lack of support in obtaining what would have been helpful resources and mentors for my educational goals. However, I was lucky to have parents who taught me to fight for what I wanted and to be persistent in advocating for my needs, and most importantly made me feel like I was always worthy of the milestones I reached, even if I felt like I perhaps did not belong in the room at the time. Like many children who come from immigrant backgrounds, we often pave our own way and then help guide our parents, siblings, and families through what we have learned. It is not a burden; it’s how we demonstrate that we can all achieve success if someone just shows they care. I look forward to fighting alongside those students, communities, and educators who are here to remind our system-leaders and influencers that they exist, that they can be as successful, that they matter, and that they are the future.” (Read more about Carolina here)

We are grateful for Carolina and Megan for the leadership, expertise and passion they bring to the team.  

Thank you for Standing with us by participating in our first-ever GiveBIG campaign! 

Support us here: 

Here at Stand for Children we are 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. We are excited to show our support of the Autism community during the month of April, Autism Acceptance Month.  

1 in 44 children in the US is diagnosed on the spectrum – also known as ASD – and 31% of those with ASD will have a developmental disability. This means many families will face the complexities of supporting a loved one who is neurodiverse in our society.   

Stand is committed to advocating in partnership with those on the spectrum and their families. We do this by supporting policies for special education funding, inclusion models, and diversity training for teachers and school staff. We support families and self-advocates to share their stories to promote change in their communities. We are also committed as an organization to learning to be more inclusive in the work we do.  

For Stand, this issue is personal. Here’s what a few of our amazing team members have to say.  

“My younger brother was diagnosed with autism and developmental delays in 1990. We didn’t know any other families with autistic children, and there was so little known about ASD at that time. My parents spent his childhood years searching for needles in the haystack, grasping for anything that might support his unique needs.  

It is so encouraging to see how both understanding and acceptance of autistic people has grown over the past three decades. But we also know there is much more work ahead to ensure that my brother and other autistic people have the support they need to flourish.”

“Autism Acceptance month holds a new meaning for our family this year. Last month, our 13-year-old daughter was diagnosed with ASD level two. The path to diagnosis and access to services was very delayed for her.  She had entered the child welfare system at the age of two. She was an early reader and enjoys reading and music. I felt a sense of shock when our daughter was diagnosed. As I began to research diagnostic patterns for ASD,  I found that studies suggest that girls and women with autism are less likely to be diagnosed with the condition than men. Additionally, black children with autism are more than five times more likely to be misdiagnosed with behavior disorders, more likely to receive delayed diagnosis from doctors, and are more likely to be profiled, abused and harassed by police officers who are not trained in disability or sensitivity training. This was a truth for our daughter. She was diagnosed with an anti-social disorder, suspended from elementary school and threatened by the school resource officers.  Our daughter is dedicated to increasing acceptance for other BIPOC students with ASD to empower them with the supports they need.”

And last but not least, as we close out Autism Acceptance Month, Stand Fellow Devony Audet will also be closing out her time as our Spokane Special Education Fellow. Devony deserves a huge round of applause for the commitment and passion she has brought to this work and to her community.  

In her first blog with Stand, here is what Devony wrote about her commitment to this work:  

“My son has a lot on his shoulders already with his vast medical needs and he shouldn’t have to fight so hard just to get an equitable education. I want to make sure my son and other students like him aren’t falling through the cracks due to being differently abled. I want to make as much difference as I can in Special Education. I am doing everything I can in my district but I want to see how far we can make an impact. The sky is the limit. It is a discussion a lot of people are starting to have and we can make a huge impact!”

Devony has dedicated herself to successfully advocating for students who receive special education services, and helping parents learn how to advocate for their own children. A mother of three unique students with different interests, abilities, and needs, one of whose developmental path is affected by autism, Devony has helped many students like her son have a chance to unlock their full potential. We celebrate Devony for all she’s done to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism!   

How can you promote Autism Acceptance? First, we can all learn something new about autism and how it impacts the lives of those on the spectrum. Here is a link where you can learn more. You can also help advocate with Stand for educational policies that will positively impact those who in our school systems who have ASD. If you are a parent or an individual on the spectrum, you can partner with us to learn how to advocate at the local and state levels. (

And finally, we can all wear blue in support of Autism Acceptance. We would love you to share your pictures wearing blue with us!

PDF Version of Press Release Available Here

Ending “parent pay” – a 2022 Legislative Session priority for Stand for Children – allows Washington to uphold racial equity and help youth successfully transition into adulthood while eliminating a wasteful government policy

 “Parent pay” eliminated following overwhelming bipartisan support in State House and Senate, Governor’s signature

OLYMPIA – Today, the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF), Stand for Children, and the Center for Children and Youth Justice applaud Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for adopting HB 2050 and ending “parent pay” in Washington State. Parent pay, which requires families to pay a percentage of their income to support their child’s incarceration, was a barrier to young peoples’ successful transition out of the juvenile system and toward a second chance. The policy had inequitable racial outcomes, created debt for families already struggling financially, and was an inefficient source of revenue for the state.

The coalition of voices that advocated for the elimination of parent pay in Washington applaud the legislation’s prime sponsors Representative Kirsten Harris-Talley and Senator Claire Wilson, as well as Governor Inslee, and the Department of Children Youth and Families. As a result of their leadership, HB 2050 earned broad bipartisan support in the House (85-13) and the Senate (41-6). A direct outcome of HB 2050 will be the ending of an ineffective, expensive, and harmful practice in Washington.

“Just as we support improvements in our education system that help students successfully transition into adulthood, Stand for Children was pleased to support this law, which will enable young people in our state to better transition toward the fresh start they deserve after navigating the juvenile court system,” said Kia Franklin, executive director of Stand for Children Washington. “This law meaningfully mitigates the devastating financial destabilization and debt that follows young people and their families at a time when they should be able to focus on moving forward.”

“DCYF has been working to eliminate practices that are harmful to children and their families, and particularly those practices that are financially stupid,” said Ross Hunter, DCYF Secretary.  “Requiring parents to pay for the incarceration of their children is a prime example – it probably costs more to collect than we bring in and may make it less likely for youth to reunify with their families, destabilizing their transition back to the community. We’re excited the Legislature repealed it!”

“The elimination of ‘Parent Pay’ moves us toward our vision of a more equitable, just, and truly rehabilitative system,” said Rachel Sottile, President & CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice. “It is one step in our collective effort to reform the youth criminal legal system; we must remain steadfast in eliminating all fines and fees. They are harmful, counterproductive, and racist. Fines and fees threaten the economic stability of families and entrench youth in a cycle of incarceration.”

Fines and fees in the juvenile system create significant obstacles for families who often become forced to choose between affording basic needs and paying the court. This is especially true for families of color and low-income households, who are disproportionately impacted at every decision point in the juvenile system. By eliminating economic sanctions like parent pay, Washington State is taking steps toward a more just judicial system—one without unnecessary, punitive, and long-term debt for families in crisis.

More than 22 states have taken steps to eliminate all or some juvenile costs, including fees like parent pay. Today, Washington continues to be a key driver in the movement to eliminate all juvenile fees nationwide.

Stand for Children Washington
As a nonprofit advocacy organization active in Washington since 2007, Stand for Children is a unique catalyst for education equity and racial justice, to create a brighter future for us all.


To stay updated on our ongoing efforts to eliminate all youth fines and fees, we’ve created an action alert for you to sign up if you’d like to tell us how you or your family has been personally impacted by juvenile court administrative fees:

We are almost to the finish line of the 2022 Legislative Session, with a mere six days until Sine Die. Since my last Roll Call, fiscal committees have wrapped their hearings, and today is the last day bills can be voted off the floor in the opposite house. Legislators worked late into the night and will likely do so again this evening to ensure all bills on the floor calendar receive a vote. 

Although session is starting to wind down, a lot can still change in these final days. We are proud to join with our partners at the High School Success Coalition to support three critical provisions in the budget that will help students furthest from opportunity access financial aid and career training. These include bridge grants to cover non-tuition costs such as child care and transportation, student navigators to help with WAFSA/FAFSA completion, and local partnerships between schools, community organizations, and colleges to help students access postsecondary opportunities in their own communities.  


I’ll be focusing on the state budget at our final Monday Action Meeting on March 7, where we’ll walk through what’s still up for debate and contact lawmakers one last time before session concludes. I hope you’ll join me! 

RSVP to our final Monday Action Meeting on March 7

Because so much has happened in the past few days, I have quite a bit of exciting news related to Stand’s 2022 legislative priorities, including: 

  • A bipartisan vote on HB 2050 to repeal parent pay. Late last night, the Senate voted 41-6 to pass HB 2050, which means that parents will no longer be charged for the cost of their child’s incarceration. We are so grateful to our partners at the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, the Center for Children and Youth Justice, and countless others – including so many of you! – who took a stand for young people and their families by supporting this bill.  
  • Senate passage of HB 1664 for more counselors, nurses, and support staff. The Senate also voted 45-2 to pass one of our top priority bills to increase and protect funding for the critical social-emotional supports students need to learn in the classroom. Because of this bill, districts will receive additional funding to hire new staff or contract with organizations. 
  • A flurry of bills passing off the floor that will help our state better serve young people and families. In the Senate, these included HB 1867, which will improve data collection to inform dual credit equity, HB 1834, which grants students excused absences for mental health days, and HB 1153, which will support schools’ engagement with non-English speaking families. Over on the House side, legislators voted to pass SB 5720 to increase financial literacy education, and SB 5657 to offer computer science courses to youth in state institutions. 

Once each chamber wraps floor votes, final negotiations begin. If the House and Senate versions of any bill are substantially different, we’ll see a conference committee appointed to negotiate the final draft. One we will be watching closely is HB 1412, which would provide relief from the debts many people incur while involved in the criminal legal system. The House version included two fees, a DNA collection fee and the Victims’ Penalty Assessment, that are also imposed on youth in the legal system, but these were removed in Senate Ways & Means. We are anxiously waiting to see if these will be added back into the bill as House and Senate leaders finalize the version that will go to the Governor’s desk. 

That’s a wrap for this week. I hope you’ll join me at our Monday Action Meeting on 3/7. For a full recap, I’ll be hosting a Facebook Live event on March 11, the day after session concludes, to give a summary of what did and did not pass. You can RSVP here to join me when we go live. 

Until then, thank you for standing for young people and their families! 

The 2022 Washington State Legislative Session begins next Monday. As we kick off another year of student-focused advocacy, we’re excited to share our top legislative priorities for this short 60-day session:

Download PDF

Our legislative advocacy seeks to achieve our mission by:

  • Leading with the goal of racial equity by targeting policies that prioritize Black and Brown students and their families
  • Promoting proven solutions that are already working in schools and communities

If you haven’t yet, sign-up now to receive weekly action opportunities as a 2022 Stand volunteer.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest in state policy that impacts students and families and provide easy step-by-step instructions on how to make your voice heard by your legislators.


In 2002, educators Scott Sattler and Tami Jackson set out with a vision that would dramatically change the culture of rural Bridgeport High School over the next two decades. At the time, Bridgeport was designated as one of the worst-performing districts in Washington state with some of the lowest student test scores. If they were going to find a new way forward, Tami and Scott believed that they must raise the bar for their students. So they began by offering their very first dual credit courses to any student who would take them. 

Bridgeport was years ahead of many Washington districts, adopting an expansive approach to dual credit classes before it became a focus of education policymakers. It wasn’t until 2013, after Federal Way and Tacoma School Districts school boards had adopted a policy known as Academic Acceleration, that more Washington districts began expanding access to dual credit through this automatic enrollment process. Bridgeport adopted their official Academic Acceleration policy that same year, but it only formalized what had been fundamental to Scott and Tami’s approach over the last decade. 

Those first years were not easy for Scott and Tami. Scott, now the district Superintendent, recalls the pushback he received from families about these courses: “I had a parent march into my office upset and yelling at me ‘how dare you have my kid enroll in college classes, you’re stealing her high school experience!’” But as parents witnessed the students’ enthusiasm for dual credit classes and the district was able to demonstrate how much money families were saving in college tuition, the pushback dissipated.

“That student [whose parent yelled at me] still took advantage of those opportunities and that same parent eventually came back and thanked me because she was already two years into college by the time she graduated,” said Scott.

Almost twenty years later, Tami looks back on that time and knows for certain that “we couldn’t get rid of the program if we wanted to.” Now it’s an integral part of the Bridgeport High School experience. Their upperclassmen continue the tradition every year when they visit middle schoolers and share reflections about their experiences taking college-level courses.

“Parents love the money being saved by earning college credits early, but it’s our kids who keep it going.” – Tami Jackson, BHS Principal

These days, over 75% of Bridgeport high school students – across all grades – are taking dual credit courses. Across Washington state the average is only 62% of students, putting Bridgeport above and beyond most schools. As a small, rural district with only 800 total students and the closest college campus 45 miles away, their high-rate of enrollment is even more impressive.

“Our kids don’t have to go anywhere to have access to these courses,” says Scott. “They get them right in their own building.” Bridgeport has made a habit of training their own teachers by supporting them in becoming part-time faculty at the closest community college for College in the High School courses or sending teachers to AP professional development programs when they’re available. “Being in a rural area, we attract teachers who are interested in living away from the hustle and bustle. That means that we have to train up our own,” according to Scott.

In 2011, Bridgeport was recognized as one of the top three high schools in the country during a competition led by the Obama White House. With a student population that is 90% low income and 45% English language learners, their graduation and college enrollment regularly exceed statewide averages. Ten years later, Bridgeport is still seeing results and is looking forward to more schools adopting their approach, starting with Academic Acceleration. 

“In our school, it was the kids who made it happen,” says Tami, who currently serves as the high school Principal. “They pushed the teachers to get certified to teach dual credit. Parents love the money being saved by earning college credits early, but it’s our kids who keep it going.”

As of September 2021, a majority of Washington school districts had adopted an Academic Acceleration policy as required by a state law passed in 2019 with the support of Stand for Children and education advocates across the state. Stand’s recently released report, Building Bridges to Dual Credit, lists all of those districts and includes links to their individual policies. The report serves as a celebration of the progress made so far and a reference point for the remaining districts that need to adopt a policy by the end of this school year.

If you have questions or would like support connecting your school district to Academic Acceleration resources, please email [email protected] and our team will be happy to help.

Good news: there has been significant progress in Washington towards a more equitable education for every student.

Today, we’re publishing a report that shows a majority of Washington school districts have adopted an Academic Acceleration dual credit policy that is rooted in racial equity. Our path is bending towards justice in Washington as we celebrate the removal of historic barriers for students of color and students from low-income families. 

This is a milestone almost a decade in the making.

In 2012 and 2013, Federal Way and Tacoma school districts paved the way when they began automatically enrolling students into the next most rigorous course they were qualified for. Federal Way saw a 70% increase in dual credit enrollment and Tacoma tripled its dual credit enrollment for students of color from 19.5% to 60% by 2018, with no drop corresponding in student passage rates.

It hasn’t taken long for this approach to catch on. As the map above shows, the policy has spread across the state and schools continue to demonstrate significant gains for underrepresented student groups in dual credit courses. Now, we’re celebrating the fact that 160 school districts have adopted a policy and joined the movement towards dual credit equity!

You can review the current list of districts that have adopted a policy in our Building Bridges report, published today.

When Stand advocates and partners were fighting for statewide adoption of this policy in 2019, former Washington State Teacher of the Year Nate Bowling wrote in The Seattle Times about the impact of Academic Acceleration in his district:

“The underrepresentation of students of color and low-income students in advanced courses is a long-term driver and consequence of societal inequality.

We are not doomed to repeat the mistakes and failures of the past. In Tacoma — where I teach — our standard is to try to make our advanced classes demographically representative of our schools. It’s an official policy called Academic Acceleration. We never turn a kid away — even jocks who may be surprised to learn they qualify for advanced courses find themselves in my classroom. This policy works, sometimes even after the students (or their parents) express hesitation at the start of the school year about taking on advanced coursework.”

Washington state is committed to increasing enrollment in dual credit courses as a tool for addressing inequity. Dual credit courses like AP, College in the High School, Running Start, and CTE programs prepare students for their next steps in college and career. “Growing equitable access to dual credit programs is one way to stem exploding student loan debt and better prepare our young people for an economically stable future.” (OSPI, 2018)

Today’s report is the result of years of advocacy and efforts to create a more equitable education system. Click here to view the report and see if your district is included, then celebrate with us by sharing the good news with your community!

We’re proud to be standing with you and with these districts as we pave the way for a more equitable education system for every student.

he following is a letter sent by high school principal Triscia Hochstatter to her Senator, Judy Warnick, in support of expanding the Ninth Grade Success Team Grant program that has been piloted in Washington state since 2019.

Dear Senator Warnick,

I’m writing to ask for your support of the budget proviso that would expand the OSPI Ninth Grade Success pilot to $8M and to 80 more schools in Washington State.  Moses Lake High School has been a participant in the pilot since 2019 and we have reaped many benefits as a result. Overall, the work of this organization has resulted in an average increase of 13.9% of freshmen on-track to graduate across all the pilot districts. While Moses Lake High School’s on-track to graduate statistics are not seeing an increase YET, the strategies introduced to us regarding how to look at data to make informed decisions has uncovered areas of concern that are now being addressed. For example, grading practices can sometimes be taken for granted and have become a focus of Moses Lake High School as a result of the coaching we have received through the support of our 9th Grade Success Coaches. We have been able to dig into the difficult work of examining harmful versus productive grading practices that lead to student learning. In tandem, we continue to develop data analysis protocols, making systemic changes that improve the culture for learning and empower our teaching staff to become solution-oriented and I have no doubt with this strong foundation that we will see increased rates of ‘freshmen on-track to graduate.’ 

I have been involved in education for over 30 years and have seen programs come and go. As a participant in the pilot, I can say that I have no regrets about entering into a partnership with the Center for High School Success. Because this organization is about providing coaching and working alongside a school team, the practices schools embrace to improve the on-track to graduate statistics are championed by teachers themselves creating an invested interest for success. With a staff of approximately 170 people, it is a slow process to create change, however, the staff buy-in this organization promotes by their very coaching method and structure of support accelerates implementation of research-based practices leading to student success.

It is true that COVID has created many challenges for schools. Being a part of this pilot gave us the support we needed to move forward with the implementation of embedding academic support for all freshmen within the school day. In addition to the time allotted for academic support, students were given social-emotional support and the opportunity to interact with one adult and a small group of other 9th grade students. This has been instrumental in connecting freshmen with our school and each other during this challenging COVID time. 

And lastly, efforts to target freshmen to implement practices that lead to their academic success are working. Focusing on freshmen success is cost-effective as it leads to increased attendance, increased earned credits, and thus eliminating the need to spend resources on truancy issues and credit retrieval.

As a principal, I urge you to support this program so we can continue to be proactive and create less of a need to be reactive. Thank you for your time. I’d be more than happy to discuss this further if you have any questions.


Triscia Hochstatter, Principal

Moses Lake High School


Below is the fourth edition of our Parents & Families newsletter for the 2019-20 school year.

Para información en español, visite este sitio web y seleccione español en la esquina superior izquierda.

Welcome back to our Parents & Families newsletter, and welcome to 2020! Now that we’re into the second half of the school year, I’d like to dive into a new topic over the next three months: high school graduation pathways.

No matter what grade your student is in, they’re working toward the academic milestone of achieving a high school diploma at the end of their 12th-grade year. Recently, our state made some updates to the way high school graduation can be achieved in Washington, so it feels like an opportune time to dig into all you need to know about graduation. If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] and ask.

In this newsletter, I’ll start with an overview to keep things simple and give you a chance to start digesting the information. Over the next two months, I’ll dig deeper into the details.

So, what does it mean to receive a high school diploma in Washington? Ideally, it means that the student receiving it is prepared for life after high school. Literally speaking, though, a high school diploma in Washington means the following things, as of 2019:

  • you’ve passed the required high school courses
  • you’ve completed a High School and Beyond Plan to guide your course choices
  • you’ve completed one of the following pathways:
    • passed the state assessment in English/Language Arts (ELA) and/or Math
    • passed a dual credit class in ELA and/or math
    • passed an AP/IB/Cambridge class in ELA and/or math
    • passed a transition course in ELA and/or math
    • passed a sequence of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses
    • achieved the minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) passing score
    • met the graduation score of the SAT or ACT in ELA and/or math
    • met a combination of the above pathways in ELA and/or math

Now, although all these pathways are options for students, your district may only offer some of them right now. The best way to move forward in getting the most relevant information for you would be to research what is going in your district, because every district is a little different.

Here are some resources that review the changes from a statewide lens to get you started:

I hope this can serve as a starting place for you, and then we’ll pick up with more information in our next newsletter.

If you’re interested in learning more about graduation pathways or about how to advocate for change at your school and at the state legislature, please join us as a volunteer and we’ll reach out to connect and learn more about what you’re interested in.