Friday, March 27, 2015

House Budget Unveiled: SEL and Breakfast Funded

This was an eventful day for the Washington State PTA.  Although funding for McCleary was not as high as we would have hoped, we were able to take solace in the fact that two of our top five issues were funded in the House Budget. Representative Ross Hunter's proposal called for funding Social and Emotional Learning and offering grant funding for Breakfast after the Bell.  Breakfast team leader Heather Lindberg shared her thoughts on the news that Breakfast programs received funding. 

"The inclusion of Breakfast After the Bell in the House Budget shows that our Representatives understand that improving educational outcomes starts with providing for students' basic needs. I am thankful that the House understands the importance of this research-backed legislation and hope the Senate Leadership allows for a floor vote in the near future."  Both Heather and her daughter Ginny testified on behalf of the legislation earlier this year.  Their picture is below.

In addition to a win with Breakfast funding, the Washington State PTA also scored a success with the announcement that Social and Emotional Learning was also funded. SEL Issue Team Leads Sarah Butcher and Jennifer Karls offered their thoughts on this momentous occasion.  Both leaders were joined in testifying in behalf of the SEL legislation by members of TVW's Student Ambassadors. 

"We are thrilled to see the commitment to Social Emotional Learning in the house budget. Parents, students, and educators have been clear in communicating the need for our schools to be equipped to support the needs of the whole child. Funding this work-group is an important first step which will lay the foundation to proactively address the mental health and well-being of our youth in schools."

Pictured above:  Sarah Butcher, Ariyana Shukri  and Agnesa Uka from Roxhill Elementary, Najib Ahmed and Jimmy Ta from Denny Middle School, and Jennifer Karls

The budget will be heard in committee on Monday at 1:30PM and passed out of committee on Tuesday.  It is expected that it will be deliberated by the entire House of Representatives next week. To view the budget in its entirety, click here.  

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