Our Priorities During 2017 Legislative Session
by Stephanie Lennon | | Posted under
The 2017 Washington State legislative session kicked off on Monday, January 9th, with a groundswell of exciting new support for expanded learning opportunities from a broad array of stakeholders and partners. School’s Out Washington will be working hard in Olympia on some key legislative priorities and supporting the work of our partners as we move into this long session.
We’ll be following these and other issues closely throughout the legislative session. Be sure to sign up for our Action Alerts, so you hear about critical votes and hearings and can take action!
Supporting youth outcomes with $4M to expand high-quality expanded learning opportunities
Research shows that quality expanded learning programs improve attendance and grades while building the social-emotional skills needed to succeed in school and in life. Yet too few youth in Washington have access to high-quality expanded learning programs—afterschool, in the summer and throughout the year – that will build lifelong skills, improve academic performance, and inspire them to discover their passions.
When expanded learning is supported to achieve quality and complement the school day, our state can narrow the opportunity gap and develop tomorrow’s leaders. A $4M state investment will leverage private sector investments to reach more youth by:
- Expanding from 50 high-quality programs serving ~2,000 youth to 260 program serving ~10,400 youth.
- Extending to at least two additional counties.
- Reaching a more diverse population of underserved youth by prioritizing programs that serve dual language learners.
- Creating targeted supports such as coaching, training, and technical assistance based on the unique needs of each program.
STEM Expanded Learning
SOWA will be supporting our partners at Washington STEM in the following legislative efforts to bring STEM learning to all Washington students:
Computer Science For All
Ensure all Washington students have access to Computer Science (CS) learning opportunities, both during the school day and in expanded learning programs.
Career Connected Learning
Every student graduates high school with an inspiring career goal and is prepared to succeed by including STEM opportunities early and often throughout a child’s K-12 education and throughout the day and year.
Kids-First Approach to the K12 Funding
SOWA supports the work of the Campaign for Student Success in addressing the McCleary decision. The Campaign is a coalition which believes that K12 funding should work to support student educational needs in a variety of environments including high-quality expanded learning opportunities.
Washington students need systems that support them where they are academically, physically, and culturally. Our state’s education system and its funding must mirror and support that approach if we want more students to succeed in school, career, and life.
SOWA supports a variety of efforts this session to ensure equitable access to School-Age Childcare.
Preventing a school-age (5-12 years old) child care waitlist not only supports youth, but also is critical for working families. SOWA also supports simplifying the school-age childcare regulations that continue to provide for quality programming while not placing undue burdens on providers.
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