State Legislative Session Wrap Up (may)

A big thank you to all who participated in our WSPTA advocacy this year! Your work helped us accomplish some big things in the legislature. Although we were mostly unsuccessful in getting the state to pay for enrollment stabilization and to fully fund this year’s transportation costs, there were many other legislative wins on our WSPTA platform. Bills that passed will expand broadband access across the state, eliminate lunch co-pays for reduced price lunch students, increase investments in early childhood education through the Fair Start Act, and provide access to local mental health resources through a new national 988 number, among many other wins. Our PTSA has put together a slideshow summary of some of the highlights.

Washington State PTA Legislative Report (april)
All bills have now either been passed by both chambers of the state legislature (House and Senate) or are now dead for this session. One item of great news is that the bill which requires testing and remediation of lead in school drinking water (HB 1139) has passed and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. Now that bill consideration is at an end, the legislature is focused on budgets. Now is the time for your voice to be heard if you want to reverse some of the staff cuts in our schools planned for next year, or want to see more mental health counselors in schools. For the full details on how you can take action NOW, please read the latest WSPTA Legislative Report. Please email the legislators listed in the report with the asks below. Remember to personalize your email to you and your student(s) experience and state that you are a member of Washington State PTA, the state’s largest child advocacy organization. Please tell legislators and budget writers to:

Fund the actual costs of transportation for the 2020-21 school year. It costs the same amount to transport 5 students as it does 50.

Preserve ESSER 1 and ESSER 3 federal funding for purposes related to the pandemic, not as backfill to enrollment or transportation decline.

Stabilize all categories of enrollment decline with combined state and federal (ESSER 2) funds so that all school districts benefit, and mid-year cuts are softened or avoided. This includes levy equalization to protect local levy collections in at least calendar year 2022.

Fund more school counselors to support student mental health and academic success.

WSPTA Increasing Educational Equity by Closing the Digital Divide
Washington State PTA shall support legislation, policies, and funding that ensure equitable digital inclusion and access for all students, families, and staff. Get more details about the digital divide in this handout, or by watching this short video.

Subscribe to the Action Network to participate in timely action alerts through the session. As a bonus, subscribers to the Action Network receive the new “Focus on Advocacy” newsletter.

Advocacy questions can be directed to WSPTA Advocacy Director Sherry Rudolph

Washington State PTA Adopts A New Two-Year Legislative Platform

On Oct 24th and 25th PTA
leaders from across Washington State - including Roosevelt - met to vote on a new legislative platform at the WSPTA Legislative Assembly. We voted on Legislative Issues, which are part of our short-term two-year legislative platform, as well as Resolutions and Legislative Principles, which are permanent and guide our long-term advocacy.
Eight new Legislative Issues
were adopted, five of which were selected to be issues of priority (see below). We also adopted a new Legislative Principle committing WSPTA to support anti-racism, anti-discrimination, and anti-oppression; and eight new Resolutions, including one on “Dismantling Institutional and Systemic Racism.” You can find the full text of the 2020/21 Legislative Issues here, and the complete list of Resolutions here. Please stay tuned for advocacy opportunities throughout the rest of the year, and sign up to get timely advocacy action alerts from WSPTA.

Also Supported List
Grassroots Advocacy. Powered by PTA.
The issues that did not make the top five form our 'also supported' list. Here are the issues in alphabetical order:

Equitable Identification and Services for Highly Capable Students

Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of Climate Change

Safe School Plans and Emergency Preparedness
The new legislative principle, "Anti-racism, anti-discrimation, anti-oppression," was approved to be added to the Safe and Nurturing Environments for Children and Youth category. The Legislative Principles webpage has
been updated. In addition, the resource document located on that page is updated and available for local PTAs and councils to use.
Eight new resolutions and one amended resolution were approved this past weekend. The Resolutions webpage has been updated with the titles of the new resolutions, and are identifiable as *new* or *amended* or *retired*. The full text documents will be linked to these titles by the end of the week for members, local PTAs, and councils to use in their advocacy efforts.