Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Time to check in with legislators

CORRECTION: No town hall for District 37 (southeast Seattle) this weekend.

Townhalls are this weekend -- see list, below
FOCUS DAY IS MONDAY! Kids activities starting at 9 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. march to the capitol steps; noon rally
Evaluation compromise clears Senate, on to House
Early learning pieces advance, but key components still being worked on

Dear advocates

On January 5, we heard GREAT news: The state's highest court agreed with us -- schools were not being adequately funded. Better yet, the Basic Education Funding Reform bill of 2009 was held up as a way forward. This validated all the work Washington State PTA members put into redefining basic education in the years leading up to 2009; into passing the followup phase-in plan in 2010; and into protecting all-day kindergarten, highly capable funding and an intact school year in 2011.

“This is a clear win, and starting today we have a new conversation,” president Novella Fraser said after the decision was released. “We’re not going to talk about more cuts to school kids. We’re going to figure out how to pay for an instructional program that prepares all of our children for college and career.”

Now we need your voices. Legislators need to hear from you this weekend and this Monday about funding basic education and essential programs for children's well-being.

The ask:
We need immediate and continuous progress toward implementing and funding 2009's HB 2261 and 2010's HB 2776. The state needs to move forward, and baby steps aren’t going to do it.
  • The legislature needs renew its commitment to the implementation schedule laid out in 2010's HB 2776.
  • The legislature needs to increase funding this session.
  • The legislature needs to ensure revenue is regular and dependable.
  • The legislature needs to put back on the front burner: Instructional time needed to implement the 24-credit college and career ready diploma; smaller K-3 class sizes; all-day kindergarten; full funding for transportation, maintenance and operating costs
You need to call, write, or better yet VISIT your legislator. Many legislators have townhalls scheduled this weekend. And our Focus Day is Monday in Olympia. (9 a.m. kids activities start at the Urban Onion restaurant in Olympia; marchers line up outside at 11:20  a.m.; rally NOON on the capitol  steps.

Show up. Be heard. (More Grassroots updates follow the townhall listings, below.)

Dist. 16
Terry Nealey
Maureen Walsh
2/17/2012, 7:00 pm, Columbia Basin College, Gjerdes Centre, 2600 N 20th Ave, Pasco, WA 
Dist. 1 
Rosemary McAuliffe
Derek Stanford,
Luis Moscoso
2/18/2012, 10:00am-11:15am, Mountlake Terrace Library, 23300 58th Ave. West  Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

2/18/2012, 1:00-2:30 pm, Mobius Hall, Cascadia/UW-Bothell Campus, 18345 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA (Mobius Hall is located in the Global Learning & the Arts Building CC3)
Dist. 3
Andy Billig
Timm Ormsby
2/18/2012, 10:00am, West Central Community Center Auditorium, 1603 N. Belt, Spokane, WA 99205
Dist. 6 – separate events
Kevin Parker
2/18/2012, 11:00am-12:00 pm, Ridgeview Elementary School, 1515 W Joseph Ave, Spokane, WA 99205
Ahern, John
2/18/2012, 3:00pm, North Spokane County Library, 44 E Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA  
Dist. 11
Bob Hasegawa
2/18/2012, 10:00 am, Tukwila Community Centre, Social Hall,  12424 42nd Avenue South, Tukwila, WA 98168
Dist. 16
Terry Nealey
Maureen Walsh
2/18/2012, 8:00am, Dayton Country Cupboard, 330 E Main Street, Dayton, WA  

2/18/2012, 10:00am,  Walla Wall Community College, Conference Centre, 500 Tausick Way, Walla Walla, WA
Dist. 17
Don Benton
Harris, Paul
2/18/2012, 10:00am-11:00am, Mountain View High School Auditorium, 1500 SE Blairmont Dr, Vancouver, WA
Dist. 18
Ed Orcutt
Ann Rivers
Joe Zarelli
2/18/2012, 9:00am-10:00am, Woodland Church of the Nazarene, 2000 Lewis River Road, Woodland

2/18/2012, 12:00pm-1:00pm, Battle Ground City Hall, 109 SW 1st Street, Battle Ground, WA

2/18/2012, 2:00pm-3:00pm, Camas Public Library, 625 NE 4th Ave, Camas, WA  
Dist. 21
Paull Shin
Mary Helen Roberts
Marko Liias
2/18/2012, 10:00am, Mukilteo City Hall, 11930 Cyrus Way, Mukilteo, WA 98275  

2/18/2012, 1:30pm, Edmonds City Council, 121 5th Ave N, Edmonds, WA 98020
Dist. 22
Karen Fraser
Chris Reykdal
Sam Hunt
2/18/2012, 12:30pm-2:30pm, Chambers Prairie Elementary School, 6501 Virginia Street SE, Lacey, WA 98513
Dist. 23
Christine  Rolfes
Sherry Appleton
Drew Hansen
2/18/2012, 10:00am-11:30am, Eagle's Nest, 1200 NW Fairgrounds Road, Bremerton, WA 98311 

2/18/2012, 1:30pm-3:00pm, Poulsbo City Hall, 200 NE Moe Street, Pouslbo, WA 98370
Dist. 25
Hans Zeiger
Bruce Dammier
2/18/2012, 12:00pm-1:00-pm, Puyallup Public Library, 324 Meridian Street, Puyallup, WA 
Dist. 27
Debbie Regala
Laurie Jinkins
Jeannie Darneille
2/18/2012, 10:00am-12:00pm, Evergreen State College in Tacoma, Lyceum Theatre, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405
Dist. 29
Ladenburg, Connie
Steve Conway
2/18/2012, 10:00am-12:00pm, Garfield Book Company Community Room at PLU, 208 Garfield St., Suite 101, Tacoma, WA 98444
Dist. 30
Katrina Asay
2/18/2012, 10:00am-12:00pm, Federal Way City Council Chambers at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S. Federal Way, 98003
Dist. 37
Kline, Adam
Sharon Tomiko Santos
Eric Pettigrew
Dist. 41
Steve Litzow
Marcie Maxwell
Judy Clibborn
2/18/2012, 10:00am-11:30am, Hazelwood Elementary, 7100 116th Ave. SE, Newcastle  

2/18/2012, 1:30pm-3:00pm, Mercer Island High School, 9100 SE 42nd St., Mercer Island
Dist. 44
Dunshee, Hans
2/18/2012, 10:00am-12:00pm, Mill Creek City Hall, 15728 Main Street, Mill Creek, WA 98012 

2/18/2012, 1:00-3:00pm, Lake Stevens Community Centre, 1808 Main Street, Lake Stevens, WA 98258
Dist. 45
Roger Goodman
Andy Hill
Larry Springer
2/18/2012, 1:00-2:00pm, Sammamish City Hall, 801 228th Avenue Southeast  Sammamish, WA 98075-9509
Dist. 47
Joe Fain
Pat Sullivan
2/18/2012, 11:00am-12:30pm, Cutter's Point Coffee, 16739 SE 272nd Street, Covington, WA 98042
Dist. 48
Rodney Tom
Ross Hunter
Deb Eddy
2/18/2012, 10:00am-12:00pm, Redmond City Hall, Council Chambers, 15670 Northeast 85th St., Redmond 98073
On February 14, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that gives teachers the tools to ensure every child has a high quality education. Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5895 implements the evaluation system built by the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Pilots and incorporates feedback from the steering committee and a task force that reviewed use of student growth data.
At one point, no evaluation bill was moving forward. But this past week, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, Sen. Steve Litzow, Rep. Kristine Lytton, Rep. Bruce Dammeier, and Gov. Gregoire worked to reach a compromise on teacher evaluation legislation. The group released the following statements:
“Parents need the confidence that our schools have the best principals and teachers available,” said Gregoire. “This legislation builds off our already successful evaluation pilot program and makes it better and stronger. I thank all parties for working hard to reach a bipartisan agreement that’s in the best interest of our children and their education.”
“This new teacher evaluation system is good for our kids, teachers and schools,” said McAuliffe. “I am proud this comprehensive package moves our current system forward while also protecting the due process rights of our teachers and professional development opportunities. We will base our new four-tiered evaluations off the great work of our pilot projects. I thank the governor for her leadership in negotiating a compromise.”
“This education reform measure moves Washington towards a merit-based employment system and provides the most fair and equitable approach for teachers and principals,” said Litzow. “But this is really about the children who deserve every opportunity to succeed, and all of the data shows that nothing in a school affects a child’s educational achievement more than having a great teacher.”
“Washington is collaboratively building an evaluation system from the ground up, rather than top down,” said Lytton. “Experts in our pilot project classrooms will recommend best practices, based on experience, to help all our students.”
“Quality teachers in every classroom – that was the priority of everyone involved in the negotiations. This bill leverages the previous work of the evaluation pilots and moves us forward as a state. It provides the professional development needed to strengthen our teachers and principals, and helps promote excellence in our classrooms,” said Dammeier. “I appreciate the long hours spent with my colleagues and the commitment by our governor to bring about this important compromise.”
Washington won $60 million in the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge, and the legislature is moving bills needed to implement it -- mainly rolling out WaKids inventory of developing skills to all public school kindergartens, and implementing a voluntary program to improve early learning and child care.
Still in the works is legislation to build universal access to early learning programs. HB 2448 cleared House policy and Ways and Means committees but has not been voted on by the full House.
Increasing access to quality early learning is a federal public policy goal of National PTA as well as a long-term legislative principle of Washington State PTA. Delegates at our October legislative assembly also added it to WSPTA short-term platform for this year.
Be sure to let your legislators know how important early learning is to the development of all children.
Ramona Hattendorf, government relations coordinator, Washington State PTA

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