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Legislative Session Big for Education and Could Be Big for Expanded Learning

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Policy & Legislation

The 2015 Legislative Session began on January 12th and will be one for the record books. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled the state was not adequately investing in education which means that the legislature is compelled to put more funding in K-12. There are a number of options being considered, including Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning Opportunities and your voice is needed.

To make sure that Expanded Learning is a focus for legislators this session, we have two main priorities that Schools Out Washington, along with our partners in the Expanded Learning Coalition, will be working on this session:

Increasing Expanded Learning for Youth in Communities of Color, Under-served and Rural Areas

Working with our partners, we developed a revamp of the Washington Community Learning Center program which has been dormant and unfunded since 2009. Children in communities of color and rural areas can be served by a variety of quality Expanded Learning programs, both large and small. In order to serve more children in these priority areas, SOWA and our partners are championing efforts to refocus the Washington Community Learning Center program to provide additional resources for both large and small Afterschool and Summer programs in communities of color and underserved areas including rural parts of the state.

Improving Academic Achievement through Afterschool and Summer Programs

The Learning Assistance Program (LAP) was created to target schools and districts that have a large number of students failing to achieve academic success. There is a list of approved uses for these dollars including Expanded Learning. Unfortunately, most schools and districts are not working with their out-of-school time providers, or other community-based organizations, in deciding how best to utilize these public dollars to improve academic outcomes. SOWA and our partners will champion legislation that creates a new planning opportunity that fosters a partnership with school districts and community-based organizations in increasing student success.

We’ll be calling on you to help get the Expanded Learning message to legislators. You can learn more about Our 2015 Legislative Agenda here.

In the meantime, WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need you to sign this petition expressing your support of Afterschool, Summer, and Expanded Learning Opportunities. We hope to deliver this to the Governor and Legislators showing them the depth of support for Expanded Learning.

Please sign this petition and pass it on to friends and family. Every name on here makes a huge difference!


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