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March 22, 2021

2021 National PTA LegCon Report

Washington State PTA members embraced the 2021 virtual format for National PTA’s annual Legislative Conference (LegCon). The conference began March 9. Of the over 800 attendees, 58 were from local PTAs here in Washington state, including two students. For some, the event was their first experience with federal advocacy. National PTA contracted with a professional…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

March 22, 2021

2021 Focus on Advocacy – March 22 Report

Revenue forecast up, budgets to be released this week Prepared by Marie Sullivan, WSPTA Legislative Consultant, legconsultant@wastatepta.org As anticipated, the March 17 revenue forecast presented by state chief economist Steve Lerch was positive – for the 2019-21 biennium, the forecast was increased by $1.34 billion and for the 2021-23 biennium it increased by nearly $1.95…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

March 20, 2021

WSPTA asks for changes to “transpo fix” bill

Speaking with concerns about E2SSB 5128, the bill designed to preserve transportation funding despite reduced ridership this school year, parent advocate Heidi Bennett urged House Education Committee members to reject language that would require districts to use federal ESSER funds to backfill state funding rather than support student learning recovery programs. Listen to Heidi here.…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

March 20, 2021

WSPTA Supports Graduation Flexibility

SHB 1162 would allow students to graduate with 20 credits, as long as the student had completed the 17 core credits and 3 personal pathways credits related to their high school and beyond plan. The bill also would create a new graduation pathway option – the performance exhibit. Michelle Nims voiced WSPTA support for the…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative


March 15, 2021

WSPTA Supports school-based health centers

Heidi Zamora had her testimony ready to go when SHB 1225 was heard in the House policy committee but, unfortunately, the committee ran out of time for all the speakers. She had a chance to dust it off and speak in favor of the Legislature adopting this bill, which would create a grant program to…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

March 15, 2021

Closing the digital divide, one device at a time

Last fall, WSPTA members voted into the Top 5 a position in support of closing the digital divide, creating affordable and accessible connectivity, and making sure students had access to developmentally appropriate devices. Advocate Heidi Bennett urged members of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee to adopt E2SHB 1365 as a good first…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

March 15, 2021

WSPTA speaks out on lead in drinking water

After passing the House by a 94-4 margin, the Senate education committee heard public testimony on E2SHB 1139, taking action on lead in drinking water. Speaking for Washington State PTA was Gwen Loosmore, who urged committee members to protect student health, ensure sufficient funding for school districts, and pass the bill. Listen here.
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

March 15, 2021

WSPTA supports funding flexibility

Vancouver parent Heather Lindberg testified in support of SHB 1208, LAP funding flexibility, before the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee on March 12. Lindberg asked the committee to pass the bill and move it quickly to the Governor’s desk to create predictability and stability for school districts that are starting budget preparations for…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

March 15, 2021

2021 Focus on Advocacy – March 15 Report

Governor orders more in-person learning this school year Prepared by Marie Sullivan, WSPTA Legislative Consultant, legconsultant@wastatepta.org Perhaps the most interesting thing that happened this past week was Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement Friday, March 12, that through an emergency proclamation to be issued this coming week, all schools in Washington must offer the opportunity for in-person…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative