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February 3, 2021

WSPTA Testifies: Computers are like books; should be basic education

The pandemic exposed what many parents and students already knew – that digital equity was not universal across our state and school districts. Speaking in favor of HB 1450, Northshore parent Nancy Chamberlain asked House Education Committee members to think of computers and digital devices like books – they are today’s basic education, said Chamberlain.…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

February 3, 2021

WSPTA Supports Access to Mental Health Resources

Tanya Aggar, a parent in the 41st legislative district, testified before the House Education Committee on February 2, asking members to pass HB 1373 and to add an amendment to include a website for safe storage of firearms. The bill would direct school districts to make several national mental health webpages available on the school…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

February 1, 2021

WSPTA Supports Bill To Establish Youth Suicide Review Team

Sharing her personal experience with youth suicide, WSPTA member Melissa Kline spoke in favor of HB 1354, a bill that would create a Washington Youth Suicide Review Team to review the circumstances related to suicides occurring among youth up to age 24. Kline asked the House Children, Youth & Families Committee to consider an amendment…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

February 1, 2021

WSPTA Speaks Out Against Gun Violence

SB 5078 would enact limits to high-capacity magazines in an effort to reduce gun violence. Hear Gwen Loosmore, a Mercer Island parent, represent WSPTA on this important bill. Modeling WSPTA best practices to leave them with a few keywords, Dr. Loosmore ends with, “The whole point of high-capacity magazines is to allow the gun to…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

February 1, 2021

WSPTA Advocates for Youth Reporting System

After serving on a workgroup regarding a youth tip line reporting system, WSPTA member Tanya Aggar was poised to deliver strong testimony in support of SB 5397. Listen here. Aggar also testified the same day on SB 5209, which would develop a 988# line (like 911) for mental health. She requested the committee amend the…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

February 1, 2021

WSPTA Testifies – Bill would create flexibility in LAP funding

WSPTA member Heidi Bennett spoke in favor January 29 on HB 1208, a bill to increase flexibility for Learning Assistance Program funding. Bennett requested two amendments to provide guidance to districts and clarify parent expectations, specifically because statutes that allow for the use of LAP to be used for dyslexia screening and other best practices…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

February 1, 2021

WSPTA Weighs in on SRO Bill

HB 1214 would make changes to laws adopted in the 2019 legislative session regarding training for school resource officers and data collection. Nancy Chamberlain speaks in favor of the bill while asking for an amendment to strengthen training requirements. Listen to Nancy’s testimony here.
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

February 1, 2021

2021 Focus on Advocacy – February 1 Report

Legislature likely to act this week on $2.2 billion relief package Prepared by Marie Sullivan, WSPTA Legislative Consultant, legconsultant@wastatepta.org Last week’s report covered the unveiling of the Democrats’ COVID-relief package, which is broken into several large “buckets,” including $688 million for K-12 public schools. HB 1368 had a public hearing on January 26 and passed…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

January 29, 2021

WSPTA Testifies on SB 5128, a transportation funding fix

WSPTA member Heidi Bennett spoke on SB 5128, a transportation funding fix, in the Senate Ways & Means Committee on January 28. Bennett thanked lawmakers but encouraged them to keep districts as whole as possible, because districts incurred costs bringing school to students when students couldn’t come to them or, for districts that have been…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative

January 29, 2021

WSPTA Weighs in on Broadband Bill

Washington State PTA members adopted a position last fall to close the digital divide. Hear members Nancy Chamberlain and Tori Emerson speak in favor of a bill that would expand broadband access across the state by extending retail sales authority to public entities like cities and PUDs. Listen to Nancy and Tori’s testimony here, given…
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Category: Advocacy , Legislative