Dandelion Dash to Olympia

WPD_event_DandyDash

Dandelion Dash to Olympia on Wednesday, May 10th, is a grassroots event to raise awareness and rally in favor of amply funding public education for all children in Washington. Because members of the Washington State Legislature devoted a significant amount of time debating dandelions on the Capitol lawns in the last days of the 2017 legislative session, advocates of all ages will take advantage of the Seattle Public Schools early dismissal on Wednesday, May 10th, to support Seattle Education Association and teachers from around the state, as they continue to Occupy Olympia, by making and displaying tissue paper and yarn dandelions and engaging in other advocacy and awareness activities that are supportive of the Washington State PTA legislative platform issue, “Amply Fund Basic Education” and similarly aligned platforms. The rough schedule is as follows:

  • 1:00-2:00Volunteers set up in Heritage Park
  • 2:00-3:10 – Children, parents, teachers will craft dandelion flowers of tissue paper and yarn, write post cards to legislators, and participate in other group and individual craft and advocacy/awareness activities on the lawns around the Capitol
  • 3:10-3:30 – Dandy Parade from Heritage Park to legislative building steps
  • 3:30-4:00 – Rally on steps of legislative building with tissue paper dandelions
  • 4:00-5:00Dandy Delivery volunteers deliver postcards, tissue flowers, invoices to legislator offices, those who scheduled meetings with legislators will attend, and others will return to Heritage Park for continued activities.
  • 5:00-6:00Volunteers pack up all items and trash*

Location: Heritage Park and the Legislative Building, North Steps

*PLEASE NOTE: This is a pack in/pack out event, so all items provided by volunteers and participating organizations, including tables, tents, and supplies. The grounds must be left just as they were found.

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Tag! You’re It! #walegtag

The TEN DAY Countdown has begun! Every day between now and the end of the 2017 Legislative Session, your participation is essential. Ten days out, as you cram in your tax preparation, please download, print, and complete this invoice:

walegtag_invoice

If you are able, please print extra copies and post in a local coffee shop and/or share with friends.  Don’t send it just yet. Tomorrow’s to-do is to write a more detailed note to include with your invoice — a note that explains one or more of the line items in the invoice. More on that tomorrow!

What you can do today: Take a picture of your completed invoice and post it on social media. Make the post public on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, and use the hashtags: #walegtag #waleg #waedu

Posted daily for your reference:

You can find your legislator herehttp://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/

Please also send copies to Education Funding Task Force members:

Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver
403 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7976
paul.harris@leg.wa.gov

Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane
412 Legislative Building
PO Box 40403
Olympia, WA 98504
(360)786-7604
Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov

Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Sammamish
403 Legislative Building
PO Box 40445
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7672
Dino.Rossi@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington
339A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7858
Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov

Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center
204 Irv Newhouse Building
PO Box 40418
Olympia, WA 98504
(360)786-7634
Ann.Rivers@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes
368 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7800
Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov

Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge
233 John A. Cherberg Building
PO Box 40423
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7644
Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov

Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee
421 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7874
David.Taylor@leg.wa.gov

CUT/PASTE TO EMAIL COMMITTEE:
paul.harris@leg.wa.gov, Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov, Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov, Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov, Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov, David.Taylor@leg.wa.gov, Dino.Rossi@leg.wa.gov. Ann.Rivers@leg.wa.gov

 

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#paramountproblem Post Cards

Postcard_Paramount_Problem

Click on the image above or here for four-per page post card templates.

Click here for a PDF of the guidelines below:

There is no interest more special than a child’s civil right to public education, and yet Washington — a state of great prosperity and intellectual capital — has underfunded public schools for over a decade, and remains in contempt of court for failing to amply fund basic education. Maintaining a sense of urgency in fulfilling our paramount constitutional duty is difficult when it has been neglected for so many years. However, the legislature is in session until April 23, 2017, and so NOW is the time for every citizen who values a child’s civil right to public education to engage in the process of solving our state’s paramount problem.

Complete a post card by including a drawing, your child’s drawing, a fact or facts, and/or anecdotes. Your personal message should answer one or more of the following questions regarding how our state’s failure to amply fund basic education for all children in our state has affected your family, school, and/or community:

  1. How many hours have you volunteered to alleviate the challenges that large class sizes present? (ex. I volunteer X hours per week because there are 32 kids and 1 teacher in my child’s 2nd grade class)
  2. Which school supplies have you donated to a public school or schools in the past 6 years? (ex. I donate 5 reams of paper annually to my local public school)
  3. Approximately how much money have you spent on basic school supplies for your child/ren, students, or for children in your community? (ex. I spent $400 for school supplies for my children and other students in the school this year.)
  4. Approximately much time have you (teachers) spent creating DonorsChoose or other crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds to cover school or program supplies that should be provided within the definition of basic education? (I volunteer X hours per month creating crowdfunding campaigns on weekends, so that my students have access to Y books.)
  5. How much money have you (teachers) raised via DonorsChoose and other crowdfunding campaigns to fund “basic education” supplies and programs? (Via donorschoose, I raised $ to fund a literacy program for ELL students.)
  6. How many more students over the recommended class size of 1 teacher to 17 students are you teaching (for parents, how many are in your child/ren’s class/es)? (ex. My child’s K class has 7 more children than the required 17 to 1 teacher.)
  7. Is your disabled child / student receiving the services s/he needs in public school?
    (ex. My child / student needs X, which is not available because of Y.)
  8. How much money has your school’s PTA contributed to pay for staff or other basic education supplies and programs over the course of the past six years (or just in the last year)?
  9. How much has your family paid (2010-2016) for full day kindergarten? (ex. My family paid X in 2013 and Y in 2015 for full-day K)
  10. How many hours have you donated to PTAs or schools, planning fundraising events and activities to bridge the gap between legislative inaction and ample funding of basic education?
  11. Which services or in-kind donations have you donated to public schools or PTAs to assist with paying for basic educational needs of students?

Take a picture of your post card and share it in a *public* post on social media. Be sure to include the hashtags: #paramountproblem, #waleg, and #waedu. Also include your zip code (how legislators identify constituents).

Thank you for advocating for the children in our state who cannot advocate for themselves!

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Coloring Sheet for Students

PARAMOUNTDUTYClick on the image above or here to download and print this coloring sheet that can be mailed or delivered to your representatives.

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#amplyfund #basicedwa Post Cards

Postcard_BasicEdWA

Click the links below for guidelines and 4-per page post cards (or two folded cards if page 1 is printed):

 

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McCleary Crime Scene

These McCleary Crime Scene coloring sheets and word search worksheet are free to all citizens who value amply funded basic education for all children in Washington, and were created by Created by TRAP including Carolyn Leith. Right click on each image below to download (“save image as”) and print:

mccleary_coloring1mccleary_coloring2mccleary_crimescene

McCleary_Word Search Worksheet – Click for PDF

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Social Media Swarm: Enabling Inequity

mccleary_busThere is no interest more special than a child’s civil right to public education, and yet Washington — a state of great prosperity and intellectual capital — has underfunded public schools for over a decade, and remains in contempt of court for failing to amply fund basic education. Maintaining a sense of urgency in fulfilling our paramount constitutional duty is difficult when it has been neglected for so many years. However, the legislature is in session until April 23, 2017, and so NOW is the time for every citizen who values a child’s civil right to public education to engage in the process of solving our state’s paramount problem.

Parents and teachers are notoriously altruistic and philanthropic, preferring to anonymously donate time, talents, and money for the betterment of children. While noble, this kindness and generosity has an unintended consequence of exacerbating inequities and enabling the Legislature’s continued failure to provide ample funding for basic education. It is time for you wonderful people to out yourselves as enablers by revealing what you have done and how you continue to provide basic education for children of Washington!

In 2009, the Legislature adopted HB 2261, which defined “basic education” (further clarified in HB 2276). These bills articulated a “prototypical school model” which has never been funded in accordance with the bills. Some of the “basic education” requirements are outlined in this Seattle Times article and by the OSPI. Let’s keep our representatives motivated to *finally* amply fund basic education this session by telling them how we have funded and continue to fund basic education, between March 16th through March 20th:

1. <<WARM UP YOU THUMBS AND FINGERS>>

2. Open your social media platform of choice. (Twitter, if you have it.)

3. Include a personal message that answers one of the questions in Step 4 and the hashtags: #paramountproblem, #waleg, and #waedu. Be sure to include your zip code (how legislators identify constituents) and make a *public post* within one or more of the following platforms:

FACEBOOK:
<Personal message> #paramountproblem #waleg #waedu <your zip code>

TWITTER:
<Personal message> #paramountproblem #waleg #waedu <your zip code>

INSTAGRAM:
<Personal message> #paramountproblem #waleg #waedu <your zip code>

Your personal message should one of the following questions regarding how you have enabled our state’s failure to amply fund basic education for all children in our state (Answer one question per tweet or post):

  1. How many hours have you volunteered to alleviate the challenges that large class sizes present?
    (ex. I volunteer X hours per week because there are 32 kids and 1 teacher in my child’s 2nd grade class)
     
  2. Which school supplies have you donated to a public school or schools in the past 6 years?
    (ex. I donate 5 reams of paper annually to my local public school)
     
  3. Approximately how much money have you spent on basic school supplies for your child/ren, students, or for children in your community?
    (ex. I spent $400 for school supplies for my children and other students in the school this year.)
     
  4. Approximately much time have you (teachers) spent creating DonorsChoose or other crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds to cover school or program supplies that should be provided within the definition of basic education?
    (I volunteer X hours per month creating crowdfunding campaigns on weekends, so that my students have access to Y books.)
     
  5. How much money have you (teachers) raised via DonorsChoose and other crowdfunding campaigns to fund “basic education” supplies and programs?
    (Via donorschoose, I raised $ to fund a literacy program for ELL students.)
     
  6. How many more students over the recommended class size of 1 teacher to 17 students are you teaching (for parents, how many are in your child/ren’s class/es)?
    (ex. My child’s K class has 7 more children than the required 17 to 1 teacher.)
     
  7. Is your disabled child / student receiving the services s/he needs in public school?
    (ex. My child / student needs X, which is not available because of Y.)
     
  8. How much money has your school’s PTA contributed to pay for staff or other basic education supplies and programs over the course of the past six years (or just in the last year)? 
  9. How much has your family paid (2010-2016) for full day kindergarten?
    (ex. My family paid X in 2013 and Y in 2015 for full-day K)
     
  10. How many hours have you donated to PTAs or schools, planning fundraising events and activities to bridge the gap between legislative inaction and ample funding of basic education? 
  11. Which services or in-kind donations have you donated to public schools or PTAs to assist with paying for basic educational needs of students? 
  12. What is not included in the definition that you feel should be included?
    (ex. X should be included in the “basic education” definition because Y.)
    For answers to this question, please include #basicedwa

Post ideas and suggestions for other questions in the comments below, please.

4. (OPTIONAL) ADD AN IMAGE. Some memes have been posted in Washington’s Paramount Duty Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParamountDuty/) that you may use, but feel free to use your own compelling image.

5. INVITE FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS, EVERY WA VOTER YOU KNOW TO PARTICIPATE BY INVITING THEM TO THIS EVENT.

6. Watch the swarm develop by searching the hashtag #paramountproblem in your social media account.

Thank you for advocating for the children in our state who cannot advocate for themselves!

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SHB 1059 – Levy Cliff Extension

Screen grab of Hillary Shaw on TVWSenator Braun, Members of the Committee… Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

My name is Hillary Shaw, and I am addressing you today as both an individual and an Independent voter, not representing a particular organization. My background and experience, however, are relevant to my testimony, so let me share with you that I am a co-founder and past president of the Fairmount Park Elementary PTA, and am one of twenty-five co-submitters of the Washington State PTA’s platform issue “Amply Fund Basic Education.”

I largely paused my professional life and sidelined many of my family responsibilities for two and a half years to fulfill the aforementioned roles, to serve the children of my community, because I take to heart and firmly believe that it is — to quote our state constitution — “The paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex,” and I have been in the trenches doing my part as a citizen who is committed to upholding that collective value.

By most measures, Fairmount Park Elementary is a successful public school:

In its third year, the school has far-exceeded student population projections and had the longest wait list in West Seattle during the last enrollment period. The student population includes:
Twenty homeless children of 3,000 homeless students district-wide
Seventy students on IEPs (Individual Education Plans)
Highly Capable students
The most Syrian refugee students in West Seattle

Failure to pass HB 1059, commonly known as the Levy Cliff Bill, could result in the children at Fairmount Park Elementary losing their school counselor and their assistant principal. This would be a devastating loss to the school. My message with regards to 1059 is simple. Pass it. The only reason I have seen cited for rejecting the extension is to keep pressure on to fulfill the McCleary promise. While I appreciate that sentiment, I can assure you there are many constituents who will continue to press this issue, and who are willing to help as needed to ensure you succeed by the deadline. In the event, however, that you fail, our children should not be made to suffer because HB 1059 was not passed as a safety net.

With regards to SHB 5607, I implore you to adhere to the definition of “Basic Education” as established in HB 2261 and HB 2776 and revisit the Washington State PTA platform issue, Amply Fund Basic Education, for accountability measures — I have included a copy with my testimony. Amply Funding Basic Education is not a partisan issue, but rather an obligation to every child in our state, and you have the opportunity to succeed where many of your predecessors have failed. Seize the opportunity to improve our public schools for all children in our state, an investment on which returns are immeasurably beneficial to all of us.

Thank you for considering my testimony.

Public Testimony of Hillary Shaw on January 30, 2017 to the Ways & Means Committee

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Welcome and thank you for visiting!

Screen grab of Hillary Shaw on TVWMy plan for the duration of my children’s development was to work in concert with my husband to ensure their needs were met, working as a team to make decisions that would provide them and us with a balanced, modest existence. I had intended to execute this plan in relative anonymity, within the safety and comfort of my community and circles of friends and family. About three years ago, I felt compelled to step out of my comfort zone to support the needs of a new public school in Seattle, so I co-founded a PTA, of which I was twice elected president. Before my final term was over, I took on the role of an interim director at a local preschool that serves about 100 children in our community. When that wonderful opportunity came to a close in mid-October, I looked forward to finally focusing on my family and my home again, with any left over time devoted to legislative advocacy for amply funding basic education in Washington, a role that -to be most effective- requires me to abandon most/all comfort zones.

The metamorphosis from behind-the-scenes advocacy to public interface was completed last week when I delivered my first public testimony in Olympia, urging the legislature to move a “safety net” bill out of committee to prevent a “levy cliff” from forcing devastating cuts to staff at schools throughout Washington. In a week’s time, I have twice delivered public testimony on behalf of all children in Washington State.

….yadda, yadda, I’ve only skied once this season, today, February 7 <<cough>> DeVos…

Unbeknownst to them, the inspiring children of my community (including my own) have turned me into a reluctant extrovert and stalwart advocate for all children and for public education. I maintained a bipartisan, unbiased presence when representing the PTA, and I have/will always continue to promote and champion organizations such as Washington’s Paramount Duty. At the moment, this crucial moment in our state’s and our nation’s history, I have no ties to any particular organization, allowing me unique freedom to swiftly distribute information and work as an unencumbered individual with all parties and citizens to ensure our state’s paramount duty is fulfilled. To that end, I have created a public facebook page, which will evolve as needed, but will initially focus on amply funding public education in Washington (and other states facing similar challenges) and will provide education, action items, and assignments for effective advocacy:

https://www.facebook.com/hillary.t.shaw/

Please join the constructive, collaborative conversation and share with friends.

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