A Big Win for Kids in Washington!
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
Yesterday, we celebrated a victory for kids across Washington State! Governor Inslee signed into law SB 6163 which creates the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council to advise the Governor, State Legislature and State Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding an Expanded Learning Opportunities system and to develop a comprehensive ELO action plan designed to close the opportunity gap.
With so many students in our state struggling and a growing opportunity gap that disproportionally impacts students of color and low-income students, this bill allows for moving forward ELOs, an innovative strategy proven to be effective, to support kids in achieving positive outcomes in school and in life.
Our deepest appreciation and thanks go out to the legislative champions Representative Haigh, Senator Dammeier and Senator Billig as well as all the partner organizations who supported the advocacy efforts to get this bill passed including The Equity in Education Coalition, Excellent Schools Now Coalition, Youth Development Executives of King County, Road Map CCER Advocacy Caucus, the members of the Expanded Learning Coalition and all the other organizations and afterschool and youth development providers and many individuals who responded by providing strategic guidance and advocating for this bill. It was truly a collective effort!
Now that the legislative session is over, there is still much work to be done during the interim. We made great strides raising awareness among policymakers of ELOs and summer learning in particular, as important and innovative strategies to support students and close the opportunity gap. The summer months are a perfect time to continue this public will building effort.
Inviting policymakers and elected officials to visit your summer learning program and highlight how these programs are essential to supporting kids with academic, social/emotional, health promotion and other key benefits is crucial to continuing momentum around this issue.
Visit SOWA’s website for tips on site visits. Contact Lynne Tucker, SOWA’s Education Policy & Advocacy Director with any questions or for support this summer with site visits. And stay tuned for more resources in the next month to support your efforts in coordinating media outreach and site visits with elected officials this summer.
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