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SOWA's Agenda for the 2018 Legislative Session

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Policy & Legislation

SOWA and our partners will be pounding the pavement this winter in Olympia to fight for Expanded Learning Opportunities. We are excited to promote the impact that ELOs have for kids. Below are our legislative priorities. If you want to know more, please email David Beard at dbeard@schoolsoutwashington.org.

  1. Expanded Learning Opportunities Quality Initiative: The ELO Quality Initiative launched in 2016 to increase quality in ELO programs. When expanded learning is promoted to achieve quality and complement the school day, our kids have support all day and all year helping them succeed and closing the opportunity gap. This legislative session, SOWA requests $2.25 million to:
    • Expand the number of programs in the Initiative from 40 to 300;
    • To extend the Initiative to at least two additional counties; and
    • To reach more diverse populations of underserved youth by prioritizing programs that serve dual language learners.

    Click here to learn more about the ELO Quality Initiative and the broader Sparkwind Movement to increase equitable access to quality ELOs.

  2. STEM Expanded Learning: ELOs give students more time to engage with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and open up career pathways. SOWA supports including ELOs as a mechanism for career-connected learning and for computer science.

  3. ELOs as a part of K12 and the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families: K12 funding should work to support student education needs in a variety of environments including high-quality expanded learning opportunities. Additionally, the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) has a mission that includes prevention and promotion, the hallmark of expanded learning, yet DCYF has not articulated how to support school-age youth.

    Our state’s education and child serving systems and their funding structures must mirror and support a comprehensive approach inclusive of ELOs if we want more students to succeed in school, career, and life.

  4. Protect and Grow School-Age Child Care: Child care continues to be a vital educational opportunity for kids and a necessity for working parents. School-age kids account for 36% of children receiving child care subsidies. SOWA supports ensuring school-age childcare providers have living wages and families have access. Additionally, SOWA supports simplifying the school-age childcare regulations to promote quality and safety, while not placing undue burdens on providers or families.

We hope you will join us and take action this legislative session. Click here to sign up for our Action Alert list and be heard!

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