Upward of 11 million kids under 5 years old across the nation are enrolled in some type of professional child-care setting. It’s not much of an exaggeration to suggest that it takes a village to raise the money to pay the monthly child-care bill. No matter where in the USA parents and other guardians call home, they face child-care costs pricey and getting pricier. But the Evergreen State is in the “Bottom 10,” in terms of how much we Washington … Continue reading
I visited a family child care provider in Bellevue last week. I’ve been working with Representative Ruth Kagi on trying to figure out how to improve both the reach and quality of our early learning system for at risk kids, and seeing how stuff works in person is pretty valuable. This wasn’t a facility for at-risk kids. In fact, it costs over a thousand dollars a month for preschool kids, more for infants and toddlers. (They require a higher staff … Continue reading
Washington’s preschool enrollment is wedged at one of the most-in-need-of-improvement levels in the country, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation national report. This disheartening information defies a near-universal principle: Early learning is a must-have if we expect students to do well as they get older. Indeed, folks for years have maintained that the youngest kids need to start off on the right educational foot in order to sustain success on through their school careers. Children of color and children … Continue reading
Session Update As always, thank you for allowing me to serve you in the Legislature. It’s an honor and a privilege. This year the “privilege” part got a little weak towards the end of 6 months in Olympia, but the we finally got a budget done. It’s a budget I’m pleased with, mostly. This newsletter has a number of sections – I’ve included the top couple of paragraphs in this email, with the remainder of the stories on my web … Continue reading
While I’m not sure I agree with the scary headline of this post from the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, I totally agree that we should be thinking carefully about how we implement a major upgrade of our early education program for at-risk kids. (Good headlines drive more readership, hence I quote it in my title…) You can read their conclusions here, but the following paragraph is a good summary: When well designed and implemented third-party … Continue reading
Education – Early Learning through Higher Education Integrating early learning (HB 1723) – Creates a framework for developing an integrated, high quality early learning continuum for low-income children ages birth to 5. Reforming Working Connections Child Care (SB 5595) – Develops user-friendly customer service and creates a legislative task force to develop recommendations to transition the program to a high quality, integrated, early- education oriented service. State-Tribal education compacts (HB 1134) – Allows OSPI (rather than the State itself) to … Continue reading
The state will step up to its responsibility to educate public-school students and will make sure college graduates are ready for high-demand jobs under the budget proposal released by the House Democratic majority on Wednesday. The budget proposal authored by House Appropriations Chair Ross Hunter, D-Medina, dedicates more new funding to education than either of the budget plans released earlier by the Senate Republicans or Gov. Inslee. “This is an honest, straightforward budget that meets our constitutional obligation to our … Continue reading
Top 10 Reasons the Senate Budget is bad for Kids, Middle Class Families and Our Future 15 NEW tax loopholes; zero eliminated – The Senate plans to add 15 new tax breaks while not eliminating even one existing corporate giveaway.
The opportunity gap is growing. Seventy-five percent of Washington’s young adults aged 17-24 are ineligible to serve in the military. Why? Too many do not graduate from high school, have criminal records or suffer from obesity. We need our young people to succeed in school, stay out of crime and become healthy, fit adults. Parents and children must have the support they need to build strong families and strong futures. One solution is clear: early intervention and early learning. Eighty-five … Continue reading
Expand early learning by fixing the state’s Working Connections Child Care program The state’s Working Connections Child Care program needs reform, writes guest columnist Jessyn Farrell. EDUCATION and jobs. These two issues have been discussed extensively in the Washington state Legislature with little consensus about how to address either subject. Reforming one state-funded program, however, would offer the Legislature an opportunity to make progress on both challenges at the same time. The Working Connections Child Care program provides affordable and … Continue reading
Already a leader in the field of early learning, Washington state would take a giant step toward preparing all kids for success in kindergarten and beyond under far-reaching legislation headed for the state Senate. House Bill 1723, by Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle, aims to create integrated, high quality early learning opportunities, for children from birth to age 5, to be financed in large part by anticipated tax revenue from the 2012 legalization of marijuana under Initiative 502. The bill, Early … Continue reading
What’s up with early learning funding here in Washington, and how do we measure up against other states? Why should the state invest in early learning programs? Rep. Kagi talks with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds on The Conversation, and mentions her proposal to create a birth-to-five early learning continuum funded by money from Initiative 502. That proposal has a public hearing today at 1:30 p.m. in the House Early Learning and Human Services committee. You can read the article and hear … Continue reading
On January 14th, Representative Roger Freeman took the oath of office and was officially sworn in to serve the citizens of the 30th legislative district in the Washington State Legislature. “I am excited to represent the people of the 30th Legislative District and be their advocate in Olympia. I am grateful to have so many people supporting me on this journey,” said Freeman. During their reorganization in late 2012, the House Democratic Caucus selected Freeman to serve as the Vice … Continue reading
Over the summer, State Representative Mary Helen Roberts traveled to Denver to attend the National Conference of State Legislature’s Opportunities for Working Families Leadership Forum. During the forum, four legislators from three states were interviewed on the challenges facing working families. Rep. Roberts, former vice chair of the Early Learning and Human Services Committee, weighed in on job creation and workforce development. “We know there are jobs available, but often times people don’t know they are available or how to … Continue reading
Rep. Ruth Kagi (D – Shoreline) has been reappointed to chair the House Early Learning and Human Services committee for the 2013 session. Since first coming to the state legislature in 1999, Kagi’s focus has been on improving early learning opportunities and quality child care options for children and families, strengthening the state’s foster care system, and reducing child poverty. She was recognized this year as a “Champion for Children” by the non-profit Children’s Alliance, and was presented with a … Continue reading
Rep. Marcie Maxwell (D-Renton) received her committee assignments this week for the 2013 legislative session. Maxwell will serve on the coveted House Appropriations Committee where decisions on budget allocations are made. Maxwell will also serve on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education for K-12, early learning, and higher education. Stable and ample education funding is a top priority for Maxwell. She has led work since 2009 to improve the state’s basic education program which must be supported with funding. Earlier this year, the state Supreme Court ruled … Continue reading
State Representative Mary Helen Roberts (D-Lynnwood) received her committee assignments for the upcoming legislative session when the House Democratic Caucus released their committee structure this morning. Rep. Roberts, a longtime advocate for reforming the state’s criminal justice system, will serve as vice-chair of the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (PSEP) Committee. The committee’s jurisdiction includes prevention, penalties and sentencing for criminals. PSEP will also likely consider implementation issues regarding Initiative 502, the voter-approved measure that legalized the recreational use … Continue reading
In this video, Rep. Larry Seaquist shares his ideas on how to fully fund K-12 education, early learning, and higher education in Washington state.
OLYMPIA – Early learning advocates cheered when it was announced in December that our state would receive a $60 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant. Yesterday, the legislature gave final approval to a measure that will enable many more children in Washington to reap the benefits of this grant. House Bill 2586, sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D – Lake Forest Park), commits Washington to statewide implementation of a skills inventory for incoming kindergarteners. It is called … Continue reading
House Democrats applaud the news announced today that Washington state will receive $60 million in early learning grant dollars from the federal government. Check out the details on our blog.