Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the fourth week of the legislative session in Olympia. At this time, committees are holding public hearings and we have started voting on bills as they pass through committee and on the floor as bills get voted out of the House and move to the Senate.
I serve on three House committees: Health and Wellness, Education and General Government & Information Technology. The House Education Committee hears policy bills that affect our classrooms. I am passionate about improving our educational system and reducing unnecessary barriers placed on teachers and students.
One of the barriers students face in meeting their graduation requirements is local school requirements. While most children are able to satisfy the local school requirements at the same time as the state requirements, children who move frequently have unnecessary burdens placed on them, and place them at high risk for dropping out. The dropout rate for homeless youth is currently around 40 percent while the dropout rate for foster youth is worse at 47 percent. Local school officials were concerned that as the graduation requirement increases to 24 credits, the dropout rate for our at-risk youth may increase as well.
With the help of local school officials, I drafted a bill that would waive the local school district requirements for at-risk youth. There is currently a waiver for military children and this bill would extend the waiver to other children as well. The hearing for this bill occurred this afternoon. Watch my video update with South Kitsap High School teacher Barbara Zawlocki to learn a little more about this issue.
If you are in Olympia, please come by and visit. My nephew, Connor, brought his class from East Port Orchard Elementary to visit last week.
I look forward to hearing from you on this issue or any other issue. It is an honor to serve as your state representative.
P.S. It's important for me to keep you updated on what's happening in the Legislature as your state representative. However, I respect your time and privacy. If you wish to be removed from this update list, please click here to unsubscribe.