Mercer Island’s Lisa Wellman to lead Senate education committee

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2017 1:12pm
  • Life
Sen. Lisa Wellman

Sen. Lisa Wellman

State Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, will serve as chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee when the Senate convenes for the 2018 legislative session.

Wellman, a former educator, was chosen by her colleagues to lead the committee responsible for crafting policy that affects more than one million school-aged children in the state.

“Education is the best tool we have to improve lives throughout our state and I’m honored to take on this important responsibility. Working with our state’s dedicated educators, we’ll focus on improved student success at every level,” Wellman stated. “We have important decisions to make as we work to improve the sweeping legislation passed during the 2017 legislative session in response to the McCleary decision.”

Wellman will also continue to focus on expanding economic opportunity throughout the state through her work on the Senate Economic Development and Trade Committee and the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee.

The committee changes stem in part from Democrats gaining a one-seat majority in the Senate after winning a special election earlier this month in the 45th Legislative District. With Democrats back in the majority, they now have the power to set the agendas of Senate committees and floor action, determining which bills will be heard and brought up for votes.

On Nov. 15, Wellman issued a statement in response to the state supreme court’s announcement that it will retain jurisdiction over the McCleary K-12 funding case:

“Today’s announcement reaffirms the progress made by the Legislature in 2017 but is also a reminder that our work to amply fund public education is not over. The court’s message reflects the difficult journey lawmakers took finding a viable remedy for the public education funding crisis in our state.

“Regardless of today’s announcement, we know our talented educators throughout the state deserve adequate compensation and conditions in which they can help students thrive. We can’t forget about other funding challenges we face, especially when it comes to special education. It is our responsibility to explore every option in order to speed up implementation of the new salary schedule, further reduce class size, and respond to the unique challenges and opportunities of a 21st century economy.”

The 2018 legislative session gets underway in Olympia on Jan. 8.

More in Life

75th Mercer Island Directory to be mailed this week

Mailing day volunteers can meet at the Presbyterian Church at 9 a.m. on March 16.

Youth Theatre Northwest’s latest show opens this weekend

YTN presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” from March 9–April 1 on Mercer Island.

Four MIHS graduates to be honored with Pathfinder Awards at Breakfast of Champions

The 2018 awardees are Dawn Bennett (‘82), Mary Lindquist (‘67), Marty Lott (‘68) and Joel McHale (‘91).

Mercer Island students cut loose with Dr. Seuss

Schools had festivities for Read Across America Day, held each year on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Covenant Shores unveils metallic mermaid sculpture

Dr. Kevin Au donated the art piece to the Mercer Island retirement community.

Mercer Island legislators to host Town Hall

In other community news, there’s a dance on Friday and city offices will be closed Monday.

Mercer Island retirees get into Olympic spirit

Covenant Shores residents and staff have been participating in their own Olympic Games this week.

Mercer Island dog wins Sunrise Pet of the Year contest

Moose, who was adopted by the assisted living community last year, beat 61 other pets for the award.

A revived Mercer Island Historical Society opens up the past

The group plans to digitize past issues of the Reporter and more.

Mercer Island Center for the Arts forges a new path

MICA to embark on public engagement process, expresses openness to explore alternative sites.

YTN brings international art project to Mercer Island

Japanese artists will teach the community about Kamishibai at Sunday workshops in February.

New endowment at UW to continue legacy of Islanders Aubrey, Henrietta Davis

Former Mercer Island mayor’s children honor his commitment to “knowledge, excellence and altruism.”