Advocacy & Legislation


WSPTA Legislative Assembly 2017

2017 Legislative Issues and Resolutions Survey

Each fall all PTAs/PTSAs in Washington State are asked to survey their members.  Each PTA/PTSA should survey their members so the voting delegates who will attend the Legislative Assembly will know how to vote to represent the members of their PTA/PTSA.  This year the survey was sent out in a word document.  If you would like to send the survey out to your members using Survey Monkey – please email Cindy Kelm and she will send you a link to use so you can survey your members.

In addition to the survey – you should also send out the following guide to assist your members in taking the survey.  It provides the complete wording for the Resolutions and Legislative Issues under consideration.

Guide to the WSPTA Proposed Resolutions and Legislative Issues

Voting Delegates

Presidents, you should have received an email from Tatia Vasbinder informing you on how to submit your Voting Delegates for the 2017 Legislative Assembly in Tacoma on October 21 and 22.  She also told you how many delegates you have.  Your Standing Rules should tell you how to appoint delegates for the annual legislative assembly.

  • Due date:  October 17, midnight
  • Email:
  • This email must come from the email address WSPTA has on file for the president(s)
  • Don’t forget to include yourself, if you are sending the email and will be a voting delegate

2017 Legislative Assembly

October 21-22, 2017
Hotel Murano, Tacoma

Please visit the Washington State PTA’s Legislative Assembly Event page for more information on this year’s assembly.

If you have any questions about the WSPTA Legislative Assembly. Please contact the Issaquah PTSA Council.
Becky Gordon & Leslie Kahler, presidents
Issaquah PTSA Council 2.6

Advocacy Updates

Region 2 covers eastern King County and consists of the Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Riverview, and Snoqualmie Valley school districts.

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

county executive)

The ballot mailer includes a list of drop-off locations in King County. For more election information, visit the King

County Elections home page, For news and reminders, visit the KC Elections

Facebook page, .

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.

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.

March 2017

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!

1. Contact your Senator re: bringing House Bill 1059 (Levy Cliff Extension Bill) to a vote. 
The House passed the levy cliff delay bill nearly a month ago and the Senate has rejected two attempts to bring it to the floor for a vote. This is top priority for Issaquah!
Sample subject line: Urgent – Please Pass the Levy Cliff Extension bill HB 1059
Sample email: 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 before April 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 and voting to pass HB 1059. (Please give your name and address in the body of the email.)
2. Ask your Representatives to identify new progressive revenue sources to amply fund public education.
The House passed the Democrats’ Education Plan (HB 1843), but they have not yet announced how the state would pay for it.
3. Attend the Education Funding Forum for the 5th and 41st Legislative Districts! 
Join local legislators in a conversation about education funding.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Tyee Middle School in Bellevue
5th Leg. District
Sen. Mark Mullet –
Rep. Paul Graves –
Rep. Jay Rodne –
41st Leg. District
Sen. Lisa Wellman –
Rep. Judy Clibborn –
Rep. Tana Senn –
Thank you again for your dedication! 😊
Portions of the above are from the Washington’s Paramount Duty website

March 2017

You can sign up to receive email updates, newsletters or blog posts in your email for each of these organizations:

Washington State Legislature
Washington State PTA Advocacy page
Washington State PTA – Advocacy Blog
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Network in Excellence for Washington Schools
Washington’s Paramount Duty
Washington’s Paramount Duty – Facebook page
League of Education Voters
Washington Association of School Administrators (Legislative Updates page)
Washington State School Directors’ Association (legislative updates page)

February 2017

*K12 Funding Proposal Side-by-Side Comparison
*Levy Information


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!

Sample Letter:

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.

Hans Zeiger
25th LD: includes Puyallup, Fife
360 786-7648
John Braun
20th LD: includes Chehalis, Centralia, Castle Rock
360 786-7638
Joe Fain
47th LD: includes Auburn, Kent, Renton, Covington, Federal Way
360 786-7692
Ann Rivers
18th LD: includes Vancouver, Ridgefield, Camas, Battle Ground, Washougal, La Center, Hockinson
360 786-7634
Mark Miloscia
30th LD: includes Algona, Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific
360 786-7658
Jan Angel
26th LD: includes Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Lakebay, Purdy
360 786-7650
Dino Rossi
45th LD: includes Redmond, Kirkland, Sammamish, Woodinville, Duvall
360 786-7672
Maureen Walsh
16th LD: includes Walla Walla, Prosser, Horse Heaven
360 786-7630
Mark Schoesler
9th LD: includes Ritzville, Pullman, Colfax, St. John, Asotin
360 786-7620
Phil Fortunato
31st LD: includes Enumclaw, Buckley, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Sumner, Edgewood, South Prairie, Wilkeson and Carbonado
360 786-7660
Brad Hawkins
12th LD: includes Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Twisp, Winthrop, Leavenworth
360 786-7622
Randi Becker
2nd LD: includes Eatonville, Yelm, Orting, Graham, Roy, Rainier
360 786-7602 305
Lynda Wilson
17th LD: includes Brush Prairie, Orchards, Cascade Park East (Clark County)
360 786-7632
Curtis King
14th LD: includes Stevenson, White Salmon, Naches, Goldendale, Tieton, Roosevelt
360 786-7626
Barbara Bailey
10th LD: includes Stanwood, Camamo Island, Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, La Connor
360 786-7618

January 2017

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

“TOP 5”

  • 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:

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 seat 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. 

PLEASE NOTE: The LWPTSA bus will depart Olympia at 2:00pm. This will be BEFORE the scheduled 2:30pm meeting with Rep. Jay Rodne.

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 I can also drop off extras to you. Take blank postcards to your next board meeting, school/social event, or to your neighbors. It only takes a minute to fill one out, and it really makes a difference to our legislators. If you will not be at the January meeting, please let me know and I will arrange to pick them up. I will be turning them in to the appropriate legislators on Focus Day. The more postcards we bring in, the bigger the impact!

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!

Korista Smith-Barney
Advocacy Chair
Issaquah PTSA Council

Register here for FOCUS DAY:

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: This is a great place to look for legislative events, updates, the monthly Advocacy To-Do List and other information.

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: . You can also visit this page to sign up for Grassroots Updates, and to find links to other Advocacy Resources.

2016-2018 Legislative Platform (Top Five)

  1. Social Emotional Learning*
  2. Amply Fund Basic Education*
  3. Closing the Opportunity Gap*
  4. Standards for Paraeducators*
  5. 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

Link to 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
You can complete the survey in just a few minutes. This could impact the implementation of learning schedules and programs for our students!
Please always feel free to email me with questions, comments or requests. If there is an Advocacy/Legislative topic that you would like to hear more about, please let me know!

Thank you,

Korista Smith-Barney

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