Summer break is over and school is in full swing, which means the High School Success Coalition is gearing up for the 2020 legislative session, less than four months away!
As a reminder, the High School Success Coalition is made up of organizations, elected officials, parents, families —and students themselves!— who are advocating for research-based policies that will help lawmakers focus on improving Washington State schools.
With your support, we are focused on closing the opportunity gap in Washington state by connecting students with the support they need to graduate from high school.
The summer has been quiet, but it hasn’t been idle. Here are a few updates on what’s been happening since the legislative session ended in April:
- We spoke up for students: On Thursday, September 12th, the State Board of Education met to discuss rulemaking for new high school graduation pathways. Several members of the High School Success Coalition came together to submit a letter to the board in support of ensuring that every student graduates prepared for success in college and career. You can see the full letter here.
- House leadership changed: Earlier this summer, on July 31, Representative Laurie Jinkins (D/27) was elected as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, which makes her the first woman to hold this position in Washington. She is replacing Speaker Frank Chopp who served as Speaker for over 20 years and was the longest serving Speaker in the country. As Representative Jinkins takes the helm, this shift will undoubtedly have an impact on education policy
- SOWA joined the team: We are proud to announce that in addition to our original six founding member organizations, we have officially welcomed School’s Out Washington (SOWA) to the High School Success Coalition to stand alongside us in 2020. SOWA is a statewide intermediary organization that provides support to expanded learning opportunities through quality improvement and professional development, grants, and advocacy in order to provide more high-quality programming for children and youth after school and in the summer.
- Our work was recognized: Late last month, our work successfully advocating for the first statewide Academic Acceleration law during the 2019 legislative session was recognized as the “Game Changer of the Year” in education policy by a network of education advocacy organizations! We’re proud that our success breaking down historic barriers for students in Washington is reverberating through classrooms across the country.
The reality is that 1 out of 5 Washington students do not graduate from high school. We believe that every Washington student deserves the chance to reach the finish line prepared for their next steps, which is why we’re working together to make that happen.
Stay tuned – we’ll be in touch again this fall with more news about what we’re expecting to be on the docket in Olympia when the legislative session begins on January 13. Thank you for your continued support of public education in Washington state.
The High School Success Coalition