Important Update: E-Newsletter and Facebook Freeze

Thank you for another incredible session! We’ve achieved significant milestones that will greatly benefit our community and state this year, and I’m deeply grateful for your continued support, engagement, and trust as I serve our community. Please see below for a copy of my education newsletter that I mailed out to folks–it’s full of important information and educational resources.

Over the interim period, I want to ensure that you stay informed about legislative matters that affect our community. However, please be aware that due to election year restrictions, this will be the final E-Newsletter I can send until after the election is certified in November 2024.

Additionally, I want to inform you that there will be a freeze on my legislative Facebook page starting May 6, 2024, until after the general election in November. This means that the page will not be updated during this time, and comments cannot be accepted as per the guidelines set by the Legislative Ethics Board.

For those who have questions, comments, or would like to meet, please know that my office remains available and accessible. You can reach out directly, and I will do my best to address your concerns and inquiries promptly.

I appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this period. Your engagement and involvement in our community are invaluable, and I look forward to continuing to serve you effectively.

Wishing you a wonderful summer!


Bergquist signature

Rep. Steve Bergquist

Education Update: Our State Investments and How You May Qualify for These Programs

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As an active teacher for the past 20 years in the Renton School District and as the budget lead for the House of Representatives on education funding, my mission is to ensure every student has access to the opportunities and resources they need to succeed. This newsletter offers a deep dive into the recent advancements and future opportunities across child care, early learning, K-12, and higher education, as well as information on how you and your family can benefit from valuable resources!

Early Learning: Washington State Laying the Groundwork for Lifelong Success

Working Connections Child Care: A cornerstone of our early learning initiatives, this program significantly reduces the financial burden of child care for working families, offering reduced-cost child care for only $115 per month or even less for any family of 4 making less than $72,000 per year. You may also qualify if you are a parent who is returning to school. By alleviating these costs, we enable parents to pursue employment and education opportunities, confident in the knowledge that their children are in a safe, nurturing environment. More info at:

Ready K Renton: Ready K Renton is a free school day program designed to ensure our 4-year-olds are not only kindergarten-ready but set on a path to lifelong learning. This initiative represents a key investment in helping prepare our children for success from their first day of school. Find out more at:

Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECAP) and Head Start: Both ECAP and Head Start provide low income or special needs three and four year olds with free comprehensive preschool services. Through education, health services, nutrition, and family support, ECAP addresses the holistic needs of children, ensuring they have the strong foundation necessary to thrive in the years to come. See If your child qualifies at

K-12: Elevating Excellence and Equity in public education

Special Education (SPED) Funding: In an unprecedented move, we’ve infused an additional $1 billion dollars into special education over this and next biennium. This historic investment underscores our dedication to providing students with special needs the tailored support and resources they need to flourish alongside their peers.

Teacher Salaries: We acknowledge the pivotal role of teachers in shaping our children’s futures, so we’ve committed over $1 billion to increasing teacher salaries. This initiative not only recognizes the invaluable contributions of our educators but also aims to attract and retain top talent within our state’s schools.

Support for Paraeducators and Classified Staff: The success of our educational system is also built on the strength of paraeducators and classified support staff. During this budget cycle, we’ve committed hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure these essential team members are fairly compensated, acknowledging their critical role in creating a supportive and effective learning environment.

Supporting School District Rising Costs: I sponsored and passed HB 2494, which provides $95 million over the next three years to help School Districts pay for skyrocketing insurance and utilities. In just the last four years, insurance costs alone for districts across the state have risen from $143 million to $229 million per year, far outpacing inflation and driving a large hole into many school district budgets. Hopefully, these costs have now plateaued, but this helps ease some of the unforeseen cost increases.

Higher Education: Opening Doors to Opportunity

Renton Promise: The Renton Promise provides a pathway from high school to higher education. This pilot program exemplifies our commitment to supporting students every step of the way, providing guidance, resources, and full financial support for every high school graduate from a Renton public school. Find out more if you are a 2024 grad:

WA College Grant: Revolutionizing access to higher education for every Washingtonian, the WA College Grant guarantees free college at a public college in our state for anyone in a family earning less than $79k per year for a family of four. Any family of four earning under $120k per year qualifies for a partial award. This groundbreaking initiative not only tears down the financial barriers to higher education but also champions the principle that a college education should be a right, not a privilege, for every student in Washington. For more info:

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to education in our community. Please reach out if you have any questions about how to take advantage of these or other state-funded programs in our community.

Sincerely, Rep. Steve Bergquist

bergquist mailer 1bergquist mailer 2