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SBE Adopts 2021 Leg. Platform

Release Date: 

November 10, 2020

Platform graphic

At the November Board meeting, SBE adopted its 2021 legislative platform. The COVID-19 public health crisis has shed light on long-standing inequities in our education system. The impacts of the coronavirus are amplified by our long history of institutional racism. Rather than returning to normal, this dual pandemic presents an opportunity to transform the education system into one that serves all students equitably. To this end, the Board’s 2021 legislative priorities center on creating an equitable education system that is responsive to the individual needs of students. Achieving this goal requires additional K-12 funding. In the current financial crisis, the Board urges the Legislature to honor its constitutional commitment to fully fund basic education, and further, to prioritize funding to those most in need. The state must ensure resources for students receiving special education services and those furthest from educational justice who are disproportionately impacted by disruptions to learning. The Board's legislative committee was inspired by panels, discussions, and views from partners and students. Find high-level concepts and related links to inspirational pieces below.

Put student and staff physical and emotional safety at the forefront 

  • Ensure students and staff return to safe school environments
  • Modernize the school funding model to invest in more social emotional health and safety staff
  • Provide school staff with professional development in trauma-informed, antiracist, and culturally responsive instruction
  • Make sure state policies support school environments where teacher-student relationships are prioritized and educators are given the time and capacity to foster these relationships

“Relationships are the antidote to trauma and creating relationally organized schools is another opportunity we have…we need to have the smaller more fundamental relationships and we can reinvent schools, when they are back in full force, and in different ways than they were designed in the 1920s..." - Dr. Darling-Hammond, California State Board, Learning Policy Institute

Inspiration example: Relationships in Education with Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond

Center student, family, and community voices in policymaking 

  • Create more authentic and meaningful opportunities to engage students, families, and community members as essential partners in the collective process of policymaking
  • Support student-led advocacy efforts and promote student representation on local school boards and work groups

"I just want to say - this has been amazing. Your sharings have been very helpful. My wish would be that this would be required viewing for everyone in education, and an their own action list to follow! Thank you again for your courage to speak your truth. So valuable!" - SBE Vice Chair, MJ Bolt on Student Voice Panel (linked below)

Inspiration example: Student Voice Panel - Modern Day Racism in Education

Incorporate ethnic studies and antiracism throughout K-12 

  • Ensure every student sees their own culture reflected in their education and learns about cultures other than their own
  • Incentivize recruiting and retaining a diverse educator workforce
  • Incorporate antiracism and cultural responsiveness into educator preparation and professional development programs
  • Bolster efforts to embed ethnic studies throughout K-12 state learning standards and curricula and to increase ethnic studies offerings in our schools

"Our curriculum and the stories we tell through them should be both a mirror and a window. We should be able to see our own experiences mirrored in our education, but also have a window into the experiences of other students unlike ourselves." - Alicia Ing, Renton Schools Graduate

Inspiration example:

Ensure digital equity to support continuous learning 

  • Ensure every student and educator has access to broadband Internet, an appropriate device for online learning, and technology support
  • Provide school staff with professional development on how to effectively engage students in remote learning
  • Support families, caregivers, and community partners in creating environments for successful remote learning

“We want to hear the parents. We want to knock down those barriers that might get in the way to make sure we’re hearing those concerns in remote situations.” - Jon Claymore, Office of Native Education

"I have some kids in person, some kids in Zoom, I do video lessons, we're getting pretty good at that. I am much more engaged with my families. I have always had strong connections with my families. I am much more engaged with my families than ever before." - 2020 WA Teacher of the Year, Amy Campbell

Inspiration examples:

Build supports and incentives to promote mastery-based learning 

  • Continue the Mastery-based Learning (MBL) Work Group to transform our education system and close opportunity gaps
  • Develop a clear policy framework to address barriers and support implementation of the work group’s recommendations

"The key to MBL is the focus on the individual student and providing them an opportunity to receive an education experience tailored to their personal interests." - Mastery-based Learning Interim Report

Inspiration example: Mastery-based Learning One-page Highlight (PDF)

Download a PDF version of SBE's 2021 legislative platform.

Media Contact: 

Stephanie Davidsmeyer
Communications Manager