Quality public education is a basic civil right enshrined in our constitution. The 2020 Washington state legislative begins Jan. 13 and ends March 12. It is a short, 60-day supplemental budget year. The annual WEA Lobby Day in Olympia is scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20. Here are the legislative priorities adopted by the WEA Board of Directors.
WEA’s 2020 Legislative Priorities
Washington Education Association members are the strongest advocates in the state for making sure all PK-12 and higher education students have access to a quality public education. These are WEA's legislative priorities for 2020:
The Washington Constitution guarantees all students a quality public education regardless of school district, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender identity, sex, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. WEA supports legislation that promotes equity, eliminates discrimination, and combats racism in our public schools and colleges.
Creating a safe learning environment is a critical part of helping all students achieve their full potential. All students and staff have a right to safe public schools and campuses where they can learn and work without fear of aggression, harassment, or violence. WEA supports legislation that guarantees safe public schools and campuses for all students and staff.
WEA supports high professional standards that recognize the value of experience and education, and we believe educators must have a voice in setting education policy. We also support competitive pay and benefits needed to attract and retain qualified, caring, and committed educators for our students. In addition, we oppose the use of standardized assessments in certification programs. WEA supports legislation that helps and assists educators from their certification programs through retirement and ensures they have a strong voice in education policymaking at every level.
WEA supports high expectations and standards for all students in our public schools and on our college campuses. We also know the learning styles and needs of students vary, as do the challenges each community faces. WEA supports legislation to increase funding for social emotional learning. WEA also supports legislation that increases student learning, supports student health, and eliminates disruptions and other barriers to student success – including unnecessary testing and assessments.
Strong personal relationships with caring, professional adults are crucial to student success. WEA supports legislation to reduce class sizes, hire more support staff, fully fund special education, and increase the academic freedom to create opportunities during the school day for educators to build relationships with students, their families, and the communities they serve.