This Week in the Legislature: Report from Jim Kainber

January 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Basic Education Finance Reform

House Bill (HB) 1410 and Senate Bill (SB) 5444 dropped and were referred to House Education Finance Committee and the Senate Education Committee. There were 38 co-sponsors in the House (out of 98 members) and 15 in the Senate (out of 48 members). The bill would enact recommendations on restructuring basic education financing in Washington based upon the report of the Basic Education Finance Task Force Recommendations, and is the centerpiece of Stand’s legislative agenda for this year.

Stand is calling upon all supporters of education reform in our state to come to Olympia next Wednesday to testify before both the House and Senate Committees and to show support for these important proposals.

On Monday legislators will hold a press conference on these two bills at 12:15 in Senate Hearing Room 3.

Two events on Wednesday will be open to supporters:

8:00 AM Senate Education Committee Meeting where they will take public testimony

1:30 PM House Education Committee Meeting (not on 1410/5444, but may be of interest to members)

6:00 PM House Education Finance Committee Meeting with public testimony on 1410

Written and verbal testimony from all Stand members will be very helpful in demonstrating broad based support for these measures.

Stand members who cannot make it to Olympia on Wednesday are urged to plan a trip to the Capitol to lobby members for support at another time. In addition emails and phone calls to members offices will help them see that these proposals have broad support.

Proposed Amendments to 1410/5444

Representative Quall and Senator McAuliffe are proposing amendments to these bills that would include efforts to close the achievement gap between economically challenged ethnic minority groups and other students. These proposals have broad support among key committee members and we should not be afraid to voice our support of them when meeting with legislators.

Proposed Cuts to Mentoring and Induction (TAP) program in Governor Gregoire’s Budget

Stand members must continue to let their legislators know of their opposition to cutting TAP funding in this year’s budget. Currently the House and Senate Ways and Means and Education Appropriations committees are working on their draft budgets, which we hope will include funding for TAP, which the Governor recommended cutting. We will alert our members as soon as these budget drafts are available, but do not hesitate to lobby legislators to keep the TAP funding in place.

Thursday, January 29 – Excellent Schools Now! will have a Breakfast in Olympia, and members will then head to the hill to lobby legislators. If you are unable to attend Wednesday, this would be an opportunity to make your voice heard. Please contact Shannon Campion at scampion@stand.org for more information.

Senators Sponsoring SB 5444 (Jarrett, Pflug, Tom, Ranker, Oemig, McAuliffe, Eide, Fairley, Shin, Hobbs, Rockefeller, Kline, McDermott, Haugen, Kohl-Welles)

Representatives Sponsoring HB 1410 (Sullivan, Priest, Hunter, Anderson, Carlyle, Haler, Maxwell, Pedersen, Rolfes, Quall, Springer, Dammeier, Hope, Eddy, Liias, Clibborn, Goodman, Williams, Van De Wege, Chase, Morris, Morrell, McCoy, Kagi, Kessler, Newhouse, Simpson, Darneille, Rodne, Nelson, Probst, Miloscia, Driscoll, White, Moeller, Ormsby, Kelley, Wood)

Be sure to thank these members for their support when you meet with them or testify!

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