In this season of holidays and giving, I’ve been reflecting on those intangible gifts we receive by living in our country, specifically the gift of a quality education. In Washington state, this gift comes in many different and unique packages including traditional brick and mortar schools, magnet schools, private schools, homeschooling, the Running Start program, alternative schools and digital public schools. As parents, the especially wonderful part of this gift is we get to choose the package that best works for our individual families.
In the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion at both the state and national level as what the gift of education should look like. As Washington grapples with how best to fund the McCleary decision, we still have a ways to go in providing the very best education we can to our children. However, we are moving in the right direction. At the national level, we see the restructuring of the federal government’s involvement in education with the passage of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act. This is the right step forward since ESSA gives much of the educational responsibility back to state and local boards and moves toward student-centered accountability. I applaud the efforts of our own Senator Patty Murray on her commitment and work in crafting this groundbreaking bill, and thank all in the Washington delegation who voted in favor of it.
Please join me in thanking the folks who make the gift of education possible for our children, especially the teachers and administrators who work so hard every day. In addition, take a few moments to remind our legislators that education is the most important and powerful gift we can give and that offering as many options as possible to Washington families is the right thing to do. I encourage parents to be a part of the discussion - you are the expert on your children and as such are the best advocate for their educational future.
P. S. Join us to tell Washington state lawmakers that we appreciate their support during Digital Learning Day at the Capitol on March 4. Click here to register.