Ballots for the Shoreline Schools Bond are due, February 14! All registered voters residing within the Shoreline School District are eligible to vote on this bond that proposes to: construct an Early Learning Center at the Shoreline Children’s Center site to co-locate the tuition-based preschool, Head Start and Early Childhood Education; rebuild Parkwood Elementary School; and, rebuild both Einstein and Kellogg Middle Schools. The Shoreline School Board unanimously approved the $250 million bond proposal to address increasing challenges in student enrollment and decreasing facility conditions.The Highland Terrace PTA Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution in support of the bond. More information here: http://www.shorelineschools.org/bond
The Shoreline Public Schools Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution placing a bond proposition on the February 14, 2017 special election ballot to consider a $250 million school construction bond that will allow the school district to:
- Alleviate elementary overcrowding and reduce class sizes;
- Provide learning environments to support student achievement;
- Expand and enhance early learning opportunities
- Design new buildings to enhance school safety and security, and
- Capture an estimated 10 percent state match.
- Projects to be completed if the bond passes include:
- Constructing an Early Learning Center at the Shoreline Children’s Center site to house tuition-based preschool, Head Start and Early Childhood Education
- Rebuilding Einstein Middle School
- Rebuilding Kellogg Middle School
- Rebuilding Parkwood Elementary School
The Board made its decision based on a study completed by the Facilities Planning Committee (FPC), consisting of parents, staff and community members, over the past year. The committee thoroughly reviewed each facility’s building condition report, which ranks the facility’s structure, systems and safety components, as well as demographic studies projecting future enrollment growth. The FPC also heard reports and recommendations from the Instructional Program Planning Committee (IPPC), which reviewed the district’s current instructional programs and configurations.
Superintendent Rebecca Miner will be sharing information about the bond proposal on:
- Nov. 15, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Shoreline Center Board Room (18560 1st Ave. NE) *Spanish, Amharic, Korean, Tigrinya and Vietnamese interpreters will be available at the Nov. 15 meeting
- Nov. 29, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Richmond Beach Library (19601 21st Ave. NW)
- Dec. 1, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Lake Forest Park Library (17171 Bothell Way NE)
Other presentations are currently being scheduled for community groups and organizations. For more information, please visit our Bond Information webpage at: www.shorelineschools.org/bond or on the Vote Yes for Shoreline Schools Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/voteyesforshorelineschools/
In October 2016, at WA State PTA Legislative Assembly, the body voted on our platform which consists of 10 priority issues and 3 resolutions. The top 5 issues were ranked to help the State PTA focus energy and resources on these issues that the voting delegation considers a priority.
In the 2017-18 Legislative Biennium, the Washington State PTA will set these 5 issues as their top 5 priorities:
- Create positive school climates through social emotional learning: The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation/policies which engage in deliberate efforts to create positive school climates, including those that pertain to Social Emotional Learning within the K-12 education system through development of standards and benchmarks, technical assistance, and guidance with research supported curriculum and instruction techniques.
- Amply Fund Education – McCleary decision: The Washington State PTA shall initiate and / or support legislation/policies that fulfill the promise of amply funding basic education as defined by the legislature in HB 2261 and 2776.
- Closing Opportunity Gaps: The Washington State PTA shall support legislation that ensures that public education is available to ALL children in Washington State regardless of zip code, family status, race, and culture or income level. It is not acceptable for there to be a consistent 20%-30% point gap in student achievement between students of color and White and many Asian students.
- Standards for Para-Educators: The Washington State PTA shall initiate or support legislation or policies that set statewide standards, training, and career development for para-educators, including training for teachers who have paraeducators assisting in their classrooms, and their principals. Policies shall include minimum employment standards, certification and endorsements.
- Breakfast After the Bell: The Washington State PTA shall support legislation instituting a “Breakfast After the Bell” program in high needs schools and initiate policies at the district level that encourage early adoption of “Breakfast After the Bell” programs.
“Also Supported” issues remaining on the platform were supported in this order:
- Post-Secondary Higher Education
- Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children
- Engaging Families in Student Success
- Restorative Justice and School Safety
- Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP
2016 Legislative Update
Highland Terrace PTA meeting
May 11, 2016
103rd WSPTA Annual Convention
Registration is open for the 103rd WSPTA Annual Convention in Yakima, May 20-22nd, 2016.
Visit the WSPTA website for more information.
2016 Legislative Session Summary
In March, a special legislative session agreed to compromises on budgets and bills, including funding K-3 classroom facility construction and K-12 education spending.
Left undone this session were large investments in basic education or K-12 construction and bills to increase beginning teacher compensation.
Here’s where we are with WSPTA Top 5 Legislative Priorities:
- Fully Funding McCleary
No progress was made to fund K-12 basic education as ordered by the State Supreme Court in the McCleary lawsuit. Legislators said there wasn’t enough time or information to move forward on reducing the state’s reliance on local levies for basic education and to increase teacher compensation.
Therefore, a new task force will focus on levy reform and teacher compensation, and make recommendations on collective bargaining for teachers and creating a state-run educator health care plan.
- Social and Emotional Learning
Bills associated with social and emotional learning passed the Legislature and were signed into law April 1. These include the creation and funding of mental health services for school age children; a one-day suicide prevention “train the trainer” session. OSPI is required to create and maintain an online social and emotional training module for educators, administrators, and other district staff by September 1, 2017.
- Increasing Capital Funding
A compromise was made to the capital budget proposal, which includes a $34.5 million increase to invest in K-3 classroom facilities. The budget also adds $34.8 million to the School Construction Assistance Program, and creates a pilot project of $5.5 million for five districts to build modular classrooms.
Failing to pass was a bill that would’ve changed the super-majority requirement — a 60 percent vote — to a simple majority percent vote – 51% — in order to pass bonds for capital improvements.
- Increased Access to Higher Education
Several bills were introduced to help make higher education more affordable and accessible to Washington students and their families. Lawmakers invested an additional $8 million to maintain tuition reductions and $18 million for the State Need Grant. Policies include creating the “reverse transfer” of academic credits from 4-year institutions to 2-year community and technical colleges, and creating a new college savings plan.
- Breakfast After the Bell
Even with enormous stakeholder and legislator support, the Breakfast after the Bell bill failed to gain traction in the State Senate this session. A compromise bill was introduced to clarified that time spent in a classroom eating a morning meal could count as instructional time.
Failure to Pass This Session
SB 6408, a bill that would’ve created a professional track for paraeducators, failed to pass the House budget committee. However, $1.75 million was added to the supplemental budget for professional development during the 2016-17 school year.
Here’s the update on what’s active as of March 10, the end of the regularly scheduled 60-day legislative session:
Fully Fund McCleary
E2SSB 6195 was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on February 29th. The bill creates a nine-member Education Funding Task Force, who is directed to return by the 2017 legislative session with recommendations on ways to meet basic education funding obligations.
Promoting Social and Emotional Learning
2SSB 6243, a bill related to suicide prevention training, failed to pass. One element of the bill remains: a one-day summit on suicide prevention as a “train the trainer” approach.
Increasing Capital Funding
HB 2968, a bill that supports construction of smaller K-3 class sizes and the expansion of all-day kindergarten from July 2016 through 2025, remains on the House floor. Last year’s K-3/All Day Kindergarten (ADK) grant program was a pilot program and lawmakers will wait until the 2017-19 biennial capital budget to tinker with the policy and funding source.
The House passed SHB 2985, which allows former school buildings that were previously removed from a district’s inventory, to be excluded from the School Construction Assistance Program inventory if they’re used to support all-day kindergarten and/or reduced K-3 class sizes.
Increased Access to Higher Education
SSB 6354, which would require 4-year institutions of higher education to work with the State Board of Community & Technical Colleges (CTE) to recognize transfer of academic credits from 4-year institutions to CTE colleges, is on it’s way to the Governor’s desk/
Failing to pass was SB 6626, “Degree in Three,” which would have created a task force to consider how to graduate higher-ed students in three years as way of reducing debt associated with 4-year college.
Breakfast after the Bell
E3SHB 1295 was initially passed in the February 2016 session, but is stalled in the fiscal committee and must be part of final negotiations if the Senate agrees to fund it in the final supplemental operating budget.
Again, the 103rd Annual WSPTA Conference will be held May 20-22 in Yakima. Registration opens March 2016.
The Washington State Parent Teacher Association held its 37th Annual Legislative Assembly in Olympia on October 24th. There, delegates met to add supported legislative issues to the 2015-16 legislative session in support of the organizational vision of “Making every child’s potential a reality.” The 2015-16 legislative platform continues to support the delivery of the association’s vision and mission.
In all, two new supported issues were voted in favor of; in addition to the five short-term legislative issues. As a whole child advocacy association, the priority issues represent education, health, well-being, and safety for all children in Washington State.
WSPTA Newly Supported Priorities (click hyperlinks for more information)
- Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children
- Career Development and Training for Paraeducators
WSPTA Top Five Priorities
- Funding McCleary
- Create Positive School Climates through Social Emotional Learning
- Increasing Capital Funding
- Increased Access to Higher Education
- Breakfast after the Bell
The Washington State PTA Board of Directors approved and voted unanimously a funding McCleary resolution. This was also briefed and highlighted as a take action during Legislative Assembly.
What can you do? Legislators and the governor need to hear from you and your PTAs. You can take action by having your PTA adopt the Paramount Duty Resolution and follow up with a letter to Governor Inslee and legislators. For details, visit the WSPTA Advocacy webpage; download the sample letter here.
Submitted by Kim Alessi, Director of Legislation
For details and information about WSPTA priorities visit www.highlandterracepta.org/category/legislative/
-Kim Alessi, Legislative Director
Come meet the Legislature and advocate for Washington’s Children with the WSPTA on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 18, 2016).
The WSPTA will be in Olympia talking to legislators and rallying in the Capitol. Join us for a fun filled day of discussion, debate, and advocacy!
An update on state and regional laws and policies that affect K-12 public education. Here’s what’s trending:
1. The 2015-2016 Washington State PTA Legislature will gather for its annual assembly Saturday, October 24 in Olympia, WA.
Local PTA representatives will attend. WSPTA’s focus for this legislative session continue to be these Top 5 issues:
· Funding McCleary In 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the McCleary decision of 2009 mandating the State fully fund K-12 public education by 2018. Our state Supreme Court took an unprecedented step by retaining jurisdiction over McCleary to ensure the state legislature meets this deadline. Talks continue to decide on funding sources, namely, adjustments to our state’s tax system. WSPTA supports legislation and policies that fulfill the promise of amply funding K-12 public education.
· Create Positive School Climates Through Social Emotional Learning Students with greater social and emotional skills are better at conflict resolution and are less likely to be aggressors, targets of bullying, or passive bystanders; they also perform better academically and display greater social balance. WSPTA supports legislation and policies that promote positive school climates, including integrated, research-supported curriculum and instruction on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in K-12 schools. Continue reading