Advocacy and Public Policy Briefing
Prepared by Susan D. Baird-Joshi, Region 2 Legislative Chair, Washington State PTA *
July 29, 2017
1. Ballots Due August 1, 2017
Mail your Washington State ballots or drop them off by Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 8 p.m. Issues in this summer ballot
include taxes and preliminary votes for elected officials:
• King County Proposition 1 Sales Tax for Cultural Access Program
• Elected positions with more than two candidates (school district boards, city councils, port commissioners, and
The ballot mailer includes a list of drop-off locations in King County. For more election information, visit the King
County Elections home page, http://kingcounty.gov/depts/elections.aspx. For news and reminders, visit the KC Elections
Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/kcelections/ .
WA State PTA has not taken a position on Prop. 1. PTAs cannot endorse candidates.
2. Washington State Legislative Session Includes Benefits for Children and Families
Extending into multiple special sessions during the summer, the Washington State Legislature and Governor approved a
budget that includes funding provisions to address the McCleary decision, requiring the state to “amply fund” K-12 basic
education. The bill included $7.3 billion in new funding for K-12 education to satisfy McCleary.
Other actions that could benefit children and families include the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Program,
increased funding for the State Need Grant and a new Department of Children, Youth and Families.
The House proposed a Capital Budget with construction projects throughout the state totaling $4.17 billion, including new
schools. However, the Legislature adjourned before passing the legislation. The Senate Republicans wanted a long-term
solution to the State Supreme Court’s decision affecting property owners’ water rights and abilities to drill wells, known
as the Hirst decision. For more information, see the Governor’s session round-up. https://medium.com/wagovernor/2017-legislative-session-produces-major-achievements-for-washington-74d6d557e3b4
3. Affordable Care Act Proposed Changes Would Have Impacted Washington’s Children
On June 28 Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler sent a joint letter to
Washington State’s Congressional delegation—two senators and 10 representatives—urging them to vote no on the
Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The act did not pass. More children would have lost coverage due to
their parents’ loss of coverage. The governor’s web site has the letter and facts about health insurance in Washington.
Below are 3 action items for this month. Email addresses for your local legislators are listed at the bottom of this email. So many of you have already sent in emails and blue postcards. Please keep them coming! Thank you all so much for all you do!
You can sign up to receive email updates, newsletters or blog posts in your email for each of these organizations:
Washington State Legislature http://leg.wa.gov/
Washington State PTA Advocacy page http://www.wastatepta.org/advocacy/index.html
Washington State PTA – Advocacy Blog http://wsptagrassroots.blogspot.com/
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction http://www.k12.wa.us/
Network in Excellence for Washington Schools http://waschoolexcellence.org/
Washington’s Paramount Duty http://paramountduty.org/
Washington’s Paramount Duty – Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParamountDuty/
League of Education Voters http://educationvoters.org/
Washington Association of School Administrators (Legislative Updates page) http://wasa-oly.org/WASA/wasa/4_0_Government_Relations/This_Week_in_Olympia_-_TWIO/TWIO.aspx
Washington State School Directors’ Association (legislative updates page) http://www.wssda.org/Legislative/LegislativeUpdates.aspx
WSPTA Focus Day had an amazing turnout – around 6,500 people came to Olympia to advocate for education! Issaquah was well-represented by parents, teachers and students, as well as Superintendent Thiele, School Board President Lisa Callan, and Director Anne Moore. We had the opportunity to meet privately with legislators to talk about priority issues for Issaquah students. THANK YOU to all who filled out about 250 blue postcards with comments to legislators! Please keep them coming! This legislative session is just beginning and Olympia needs to hear from us. No doubt, our legislators are feeling the weight of great responsibility during this session. They also appreciate hearing “thank you” for a job well done.
HB 1059 – Delaying revisions to the school levy lid
This bill would allow a 12 month reprieve from the “levy cliff”. If it passes, this would give legislators another year to figure out how to fully fund education without relying on levies. In 2010, school districts were given authority to temporarily increase property tax levies by 4%. That allowance will expire at the beginning of 2018, in the middle of the next school year. That would mean a loss of about $7.5M to Issaquah schools next year. The good news is that the House has already voted to pass HB 1059. However, the Senate has not yet voted and there are some Senators that are expected to vote against this bill. They are listed below along with contact information. If you have friends or family in their districts, please urge them to contact these legislators!
I urge you to support HB 1059. Students are counting on you to keep teachers in classrooms next year. Our schools are trying to devise an operating budget for next year beforeApril 1st. They are faced with the stress of uncertainty, and the possibility of having to RIF teachers. Levy dollars are voter approved. We cannot afford to lose teachers or funding in our schools. Thank you for taking care of our students by voting to pass HB 1059.
25th LD: includes Puyallup, Fife
20th LD: includes Chehalis, Centralia, Castle Rock
47th LD: includes Auburn, Kent, Renton, Covington, Federal Way
18th LD: includes Vancouver, Ridgefield, Camas, Battle Ground, Washougal, La Center, Hockinson
30th LD: includes Algona, Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific
26th LD: includes Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Lakebay, Purdy
45th LD: includes Redmond, Kirkland, Sammamish, Woodinville, Duvall
16th LD: includes Walla Walla, Prosser, Horse Heaven
9th LD: includes Ritzville, Pullman, Colfax, St. John, Asotin
31st LD: includes Enumclaw, Buckley, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Sumner, Edgewood, South Prairie, Wilkeson and Carbonado
12th LD: includes Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Twisp, Winthrop, Leavenworth
2nd LD: includes Eatonville, Yelm, Orting, Graham, Roy, Rainier
360 786-7602 305
17th LD: includes Brush Prairie, Orchards, Cascade Park East (Clark County)
14th LD: includes Stevenson, White Salmon, Naches, Goldendale, Tieton, Roosevelt
10th LD: includes Stanwood, Camamo Island, Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, La Connor
In case you have not attended Focus Day in the past, we want you to have lots of information so you will know what to to expect! Focus Day draws WSPTA members to Olympia with the intent of giving them an in-person view of how the legislative process works, and how they can engage in it to advocate for their children. It also provides an opportunity for you to meet your local legislators and personally convey your priorities for your children. There will be focus on the “Top 5” WSPTA legislative priorities, which were decided by vote at the 2016 WSPTA Legislative Assembly. You can view details on each priority, as well as other supported issues and long-term resolutions at http://www.wastatepta.org/advocacy/index.html.
- Social Emotional Learning
- Amply Fund Basic Education
- Closing the Opportunity Gap
- Standards for Paraeducators
- Breakfast after the Bell
On the agenda, Governor Inslee and new Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal will be speaking to us in the rotunda. The superintendent will share his vision for public education, and his top priorities for his first 100 days in office. You can view the governor’s new budget and $3.9B proposals to resolve the “McCleary problem” here:
Several people from Region 2 are working on setting up face to face meetings with legislators from districts 5 and 41. So far, there is an appointment set to meet with Jay Rodne at 2:30pm. You are welcome to attend this meeting! I will forward additional information if we receive more responses.
Check out the WSPTA Focus Day webpage to see the full agenda, as well as other details about the day and helpful links. The link to register for Focus Day is also on this page. Kids are encouraged to attend, and there will be activities just for them on-site! You can also purchase boxed lunches on the registration page, or you can bring your own. Nearby food options are scarce, and the capitol cafeteria line can be very long! Focus Day page: http://www.wastatepta.org/meetings/focus_day/index.html.
Lake Washington PTSA Council has generously offered a FREE bus ride to Focus Day! Priority will be given to riders from the Lake Washington district. Extra seats will likely fill up fast, so sign up here ASAP to reserve your seathttps://www.signupforms.com/registrations/9253. They will also be coordinating carpools for those who aren’t able to ride the bus. If you are planning to drive, allow plenty of time to find parking.
Blue Postcards – Please fill them out and return them at the January 12th Council meeting! If you missed the last Council meeting, postcards were given Council members that could be filled out with comments to legislators. Each president received 30 postcards to pass out to others. If you did not receive yours or would like to print more, you can find them here http://www.issaquahptsa.
If you have questions, please contact me anytime. Thank you for your dedication and all you do to make a difference for our kids!
See you at Focus Day!
Issaquah PTSA Council
Register here for FOCUS DAY: http://www.wastatepta.
Plan ahead to attend FOCUS DAY on January 16th, 9:00am-1:00pm in Olympia! This WSPTA event is an impactful day for advocates of education. You will be able to rally on the steps of the state capitol with other advocates, and will have a chance to greet your legislators face to face! Since January 16th is a “no school” day, it is also an opportunity to involve your children in speaking up for education. Our legislators love to hear from kids!
The Lake Washington school district will be chartering a bus to Focus Day, which will be open to all of Region 2. Information on registering to ride the bus will be emailed to Presidents and Advocacy Reps. when available, along with detailed information about what to expect on Focus Day.
WSPTA Legislative Advocacy page: http://www.wastatepta.
Focus Day is January 16, 2017. You can register here, or just show up!
2016 Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly Report
Three members of your Council Board attended Legislative Assembly in October. We educated ourselves on all of the proposed issues and resolutions, and voted to support those we thought would be most important and relevant to our students.
Please go to WSPTA Grassroots Connection Blogspot for more detailed information and a Post Legislative Assembly Summary: http://
2016-2018 Legislative Platform (Top Five)
- Social Emotional Learning*
- Amply Fund Basic Education*
- Closing the Opportunity Gap*
- Standards for Paraeducators*
- Breakfast after the Bell*
Issues Also Supported (listed alphabetically)
- Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children*
- Engaging Families in Student Success
- Post-Secondary Higher Education*
- Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program)
- Restorative Justice and School Safety
*2015-16 legislative issues
New Long Term Resolutions
Child Sex Trafficking
Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, and Dyspraxia (sensory disorders) and their Educational Impact
Mitigating Environmental Hazards and Contaminants in Schools
Expanded Learning Parent/Guardian Survey
This survey is being conducted by the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council (ELOC). The ELOC was created in 2014 to advise the Governor, Legislature, and Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding expanded learning opportunities for students. Your input as a parent or guardian will be used to help guide the ELOC’s recommendations about:
- Before, after, and summer school programs
- Potential changes to the school year calendar
- Enhanced learning opportunities for students