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State Budget is Complete…Sort of

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

Going into its third special session, the Washington State Legislature finally wrapped up the 2015-17 budget, at least we think. As we said in our last post before the budget was finalized, there are some good things for afterschool and summer programs:

While the legislature passed and the governor signed the budget, there was a bit of a challenge that followed. Critical to making the budget work was suspending Initiative 1351. This initiative had a goal of reducing class size and increasing the number of other supportive school staff. The initiative also came with a $2 billion price tag and no dedicated funding source. The House voted to suspend the initiative, but the Senate could not get the two-thirds majority. The Senate will try to vote on the suspension again, and until then it is unclear what it would mean if they have to find funding for the initiative. More to come.

While these modest gains will improve the quality and scope of existing afterschool programs, it will do nothing to increase access children and youth have to afterschool and summer. Over the summer and fall we will be gearing up for the next legislative session and with your help will create momentum for a big win for kids afterschool and in the summer. But the key to success is you.

If you are interested in learning more about advocacy and educating legislators (example: bringing them to visit your program or your child’s program), please email SOWA Education Policy and Advocacy Director David Beard at dbeard@schoolsoutwashington.org. You can also be notified about future policy updates by signing up for our Action Alerts. Learn more about Action Alerts here, or Sign up now to add your voice!

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