Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, began a tour of all nine Educational Service Districts in the state on Monday to meet with educators and discuss strategies to improve school safety, student outcomes and digital parity.
Wellman, chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, met with school officials in Pasco Monday. Over the next two weeks, she will make stops in Yakima, Wenatchee, Vancouver, Tumwater, Bremerton, Renton, Anacortes and Spokane. Local officials and Senate staff will join Wellman at each ESD.
“Obviously, school safety is paramount in everyone’s mind right now and these meetings will give the Legislature valuable insight into what’s working and what can be improved in each unique area of our state,” Wellman said in a press release. “We also plan to focus on kindergarten readiness, career connected learning and broadband access. Our schools need to work for each and every child.”
Earlier this year, the Legislature increased K-12 funding by nearly $1 billion, the final step to bring Washington into compliance with a state Supreme Court mandate on basic education funding.
In January, the Legislature also made the largest ever investment in school construction through the passage of the 2017-19 Capital Budget. Wellman said she is excited to now focus her committee’s work on key emerging needs in the state’s classrooms.
“We have made significant progress with our funding levels, but we are always concerned with continuing to hear directly from our districts on ways to improve the quality of education in our schools,” she said in a press release. “I look forward to listening to the views of all the dedicated educators around the state.”
Here is the list of upcoming ESD visits:
June 4: Tumwater – ESD 113
June 4: Bremerton – ESD 114
June 11: Anacortes – ESD 189
June 13: Renton – ESD 121
June 14: Spokane – ESD 101