House and Senate budget leaders have each released their guiding documents for state spending over the next two years. Here’s a summary of how they address priorities for Washington’s kids:
No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog
Our public policies—the laws, budgets, rules and other decisions of elected representatives—can either help kids succeed or put obstacles in their path. Racial equity assessment tools can shape our public choices so that they enhance every child’s access to opportunity.
Home visiting helps parents get their children off to the best possible start in life. But right now, this highly needed service needs your support.
At the end of March, federal funding for home visiting is set to expire without congressional action to extend the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. MIECHV has allowed an additional 1,300 Washington families to receive home visiting services.
We support the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act in the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session. It is a double win for kids.
Climate stability is good for kids. A warming planet, and related environmental changes, negatively impacts all life and particularly children and families with the fewest resources.
One of the most treasured parts of our state Constitution is Article IX, section 1, the guarantee for Washington families of a basic education for their children.
As courts, governing officials, parents and policymakers now know, we have fallen short in this promise to kids.
One of the ways that educational inequity shows up in the lives of children is when local tax levies help schools with higher-value property raise more money. America’s legacy of racial discrimination restricted children of color to poorer communities. Because of this, the schools that are financially under-resourced are tasked with educating the children most vulnerable to household hunger. This disparity is another feature of the opportunity gap between children of color and children in low-income families and kids growing up in more affluent school districts.
The bipartisan Early Start Act, sponsored by Sen. Steve Litzow (R – Mercer Island) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D – Seattle), would integrate the latest findings on how children learn into the everyday lives of Washington’s babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The bill would:
The New Year brings a new legislative session, with new challenges and new opportunities for Washington’s kids.
In order to make sure kids are put at the center of government’s concern this year, it’s helpful to know who holds power, and how, in the State capitol.
The fall 2014 elections resulted in a state Senate majority of 25 Republicans and a minority of 24 Democrats. In the House, a 51-member Democratic majority holds power, while Republicans hold the remaining 47 seats.
Each elected representative works within the political party of his or her choice. Within the House and Senate, these parties meet as a unit. They are called caucuses. The caucus is a closed forum for discussing ideas and proposing action. One Senate Democrat, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch), chooses to meet in his Republican colleagues’ caucus. This is the Majority Coalition Caucus.
During election season, the Children’s Alliance analyzes statewide ballot measures. Whether we support, oppose, or don’t get involved is based on the answer to one fundamental question: Is it good for kids and for racial equity?
Today, we announce our opposition to Initiative 1351 concerning K-12 education.
Every one of our state’s children needs an equal opportunity for high-quality early learning. That’s why a growing number of state, local and federal policymakers are supporting the first five years of a child’s life: the foundation for lifelong success.
Children are born learning. Access to high quality early learning is critical to closing the gap for children who start out with fewer opportunities. An increasing number of lawmakers understand that early learning builds strong kids and strong communities.
Last week the Early Learning Action Alliance recognized State Representative David Sawyer (Spanaway, 29th District) for his commitment to the first five years of a child’s life.
Today Children's Alliance joined with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and Columbia Legal Services to file an Amicus Curiae brief with the state Supreme Court in the McCleary v. Washington case.
The brief requests that, as the state moves to comply with the Court’s ruling, it refrain from funding education in a way that jeopardizes housing and other basic services to children and families. The brief may be found here.
“If we cut social programs to pay for education, everyone’s worse off,” says Paola Maranan, executive director of the Children’s Alliance. “In addressing our failure to uphold kids’ right to a basic education, we don’t want the solution to exacerbate the problem.”
The Amicus participants support the Court’s finding in McCleary that the state must provide adequate funding to ensure the right of all children to an education that prepares them for lifelong success.
While education must be fully funded, the brief explains how students in low-income families face barriers outside the classroom that limit their equal opportunity to obtain a basic education. These barriers also expand the educational opportunity gap that exists between white students and students of color.
All kids deserve a chance to thrive. Thanks to the smart implementation of the Affordable Care Act here in Washington, we’re putting health care within reach of more children—so they can be part of a healthy future for all.
Since the opening of our State’s new Health Insurance Marketplace, HealthPlanFinder, in October, more than 94,000 Washington children have been newly enrolled in Apple Health for Kids. An additional 5,000 children were connected with private insurance.
What does that mean? Thanks to Apple Health for Kids and the Affordable Care Act, Washington has made tremendous progress toward the goal of universal coverage.