Supporting Students, Education & Early Learning!

Dear friends and neighbors,

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined our Telephone Town Hall last week. I’m grateful for your engagement, thoughtful questions and active participation in our civic process.


Also, I was delighted to recently record an episode with the Capitol Ideas Podcast – it was a wonderful conversation about some of my favorite things I’m working on. If you have 20 minutes to give it a listen, while driving to work, cooking dinner, or taking a walk, click here or listen on Spotify!

Supporting Our Students and Our Schools

Education Legislation

As both a mother and a legislator, my foremost goal is ensuring that every student has the opportunity to thrive–from ensuring they feel supported to keeping them safe. Here’s a glimpse into our ongoing efforts to further support all students:

  • Our diverse student body and community deserves to see themselves reflected in our curriculum and library bookshelves! HB 2331 defines a specific process for removing books from schools so that books with LGBTQ and diverse characters can’t be targeted for removal.
  • HB 1956 mandates comprehensive education on opioid dangers, particularly fentanyl, in all public middle and high schools, aiming to save lives amidst a rising opioid crisis.
  • HB 1915 mandates that, starting with the graduating class of 2031, public school students must complete a half-credit course in financial education to graduate, equipping students with essential financial literacy skills to navigate their personal finances effectively in adulthood.
  • HB 1228 helps build out a multilingual, multiliterate Washington through dual and tribal language education, acknowledging and supporting linguistic diversity within Washington’s communities, empowering students to connect with their cultural heritage, and facilitating broader communication and understanding in our multicultural society.

A major education and environmental priority, I sponsored HB 1368 to invest in zero-emissions school buses to improve the health of our kids and reduce pollution. Take a look: 


Education Budget Investments 

School districts are struggling financially across the state—including in our district—with rising costs and greater student needs. Over the weekend, we passed the House Operating Budget—with particularly impactful investments in education. In this supplemental budget, we’ve allocated $260 million towards K-12 education in the House budget. Here’s a breakdown of how some of these funds will be utilized:

  • School Funding: To support rising costs for our school districts, we’re allocating $44 million towards materials, supplies, and operating costs. This funding will enable schools to maintain their facilities, purchase needed supplies and create a conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning. 
  • School Meals: Hungry children can’t learn. That is why we have added an additional $45 million toward free school meals.
  • Special Education: We understand the importance of providing adequate support for students with special needs. That’s why we’re allocating an additional $35 million toward special education.
  • Support for Small School Districts, Charters, and Tribal Schools: Every student deserves a quality education, regardless of the size or location of their school. That’s why we’re allocating $8 million to support small school districts, charters, and tribal schools.

By prioritizing education, we’re not only investing in our children’s futures but also strengthening our community as a whole. I’m proud to be part of these efforts, and I will continue to advocate for policies that promote excellence in education and opportunity for all.


Early Learning: The Best Investment We Can Make

I’m happy to share that in the House, we’ve passed significant legislation and funding of $150 million for children, youth, and families—much of this made possible by income generated by the capital gains tax. This sustainable source of revenue ensures that we can continue to invest in early learning and education!

  • As you may have read recently in our local papers, my HB 1916 is a critical priority. As the first step in the special education continuum, this bill will bolster early supports for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities, dramatically reducing the need for ongoing special education. We are blessed to have amazing providers across the Eastside like Kindering and Childhaven (recently renamed “AKIN”)!


  • Expanding Childcare Access: $75 million is included in our budget to increase childcare slots, expand eligibility for childcare assistance, support our early learning workforce. We’re taking significant strides towards addressing the childcare needs of working families in our community to the betterment of our entire economy.

Youth in Olympia 

In Olympia, I’m continually inspired by the dedication of young advocates and legislative pages! Pages play a vital role in our legislative process, learning about government firsthand while assisting legislators and staff. (Although we are full for this year, I hope students will apply next year!) It’s been uplifting to witness environmental youth lobbyists championing sustainability, alongside visits from students who bring valuable insights and community representation on other issues as well. Huge thanks to our pages for their hard work and to all youth advocates who’ve joined me this session! 


Thank you so much for reading! The next two weeks will be “make or break” for hundreds of bills and budget investments. I look forward to keeping you informed of our progress and final decisions! You can also follow me on facebook for more frequent updates.


Senn Sig

Rep. Tana Senn