Legislative Session Week Two: WSSDA and Student Testimonies

Reflecting on week two of the 2021 legislative session, we know more now than we did in week one, but not as much as we’ll know in week three. Each day, WSSDA’s strategic advocacy team is learning new ways for engaging with our legislators and their staff. We know that concise, compelling testimony and direct communication to our legislators and their staff are essential.

WSSDA testimony

Cindy Kelly, Port Angeles SD
Testifying on HB 5161
Drayton Jackson, Central Kitsap SD
Testifying on SB 5043

This week, WSSDA provided verbal and/or written testimony on the following bills:

  • SB 5037 – Establishing transparent school opening metrics tied to COVID-19 prevalence.
  • SB 5161 – Teaching Washington’s tribal history, culture, and government.
  • HB 1212 – Promoting the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic products to increase access to appropriate and affordable digital products, support small businesses and jobs, and enhance digital connectivity in Washington state.
  • SB 5043 – Providing housing to school district employees.
  • HB 1168 – Concerning long-term forest health and the reduction of wildfire dangers.
  • HB 1162 – Concerning high school graduation credit and pathway options.

Student leaders support proposed graduation credit and pathway options

Friday morning started with five student leaders testifying in support of HB 1162 regarding graduation waivers and pathways. The students shared their personal stories and the stories of other students to illustrate the need for additional graduation requirements and credit options.

Here are the students that testified in support of HB 1162:

  • Autymn Wilde, Former Student Member of the State Board of Education (minutes 34:42-36:05)
  • Ashley Linn, Student Member of the Mastery-Based Learning Workgroup (submitted written testimony)
  • Finn O’Donnell, Port Townsend School District (minutes 25:36-26:44)
  • Jaden Bergevin, Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL) and Walla Walla School District (minutes 31:45-33:07)
  • Rideb A’Jahlei, University Place School District (submitted written testimony)

You may also view the full House Education Committee hearing.

Use your voice

If you want to provide testimony as an individual, school board member, or on behalf of WSSDA, email WSSDA Strategic Advocacy Director Marissa Rathbone for more information.

If you have a student leader who would like to provide testimony, email WSSDA Strategic Advocacy Coordinator Logan Endres for more information.

See the full issue of InSession

The information above is excerpted from the full January 22 issue of InSession. View the full issue for more resources and information.