Thursday, February 4, 2016

Advocacy in Action

Kudos and applause to Endeavor Elementary School PTSA leaders Care Maree Harper, President, and Taya Montgomery, Advocacy Chair, who attended Focus Day in Olympia. The two advocates volunteered to testify against SSB 6195, which has been commonly called "a plan for a plan," in front of the Senate Ways & Means Committee. 

"The time to fully fund basic education in our state is right now, not next year, not two years from now," said Montgomery, speaking on the bill's intent to delay action on funding McCleary until 2018.  Harper shared that her PTSA has provided more than $70,000 in grants to the elementary school the past two years for items such as reading programs and technology - things that should be covered by state funding. 

Also addressing committee members was JC Mitchell of the Highline PTA Council. Mitchell reminded legislators about their paramount duty to fund education, and encouraged them to step up now and take action. 

To watch these first-time testifiers, here's the clip on TVW about 37 minutes into the video:

In addition, Heidi Bennett, a veteran at testifying, supported HB2820 - the Washington Promise Grant - on behalf of the Washington State PTA. While supporting more affordable access to higher educational opportunities through policies like the Washington Promise, Bennett also reminded legislators to support full funding for K-12 basic education. "Neither should be funded at the expense of the other," said Bennett. 

Her testimony before the House Higher Education Committee is here, about 28.5 minutes into the segment.

Thank you to all of our WSPTA advocates who attended Focus Day on February 3 and shared messages with their legislators at hearings and through individual meetings. 

Mark your calendars now for the 2017 Focus on Education Day, which will be held Monday, January 16, 2017 (Martin Luther King Jr., Day). 

Marie Sullivan
Legislative Consultant

Washington State PTA

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