Feedback05 - Education

Full 2016 Platform


46th 2018 DRAFT Education


The backbone of our democracy is a free, universal public school system designed to produce reasoning, thoughtful, well-informed citizens who are prepared to participate in civic society. The Washington Constitution says: “It is 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.”


We support:

  1. A stable source of K-12 Basic Education funding, to provide:
    1. Competitive pay and benefits for all public educators, including compensatory adjustments for high-cost areas
    2. Upgrading school facilities, libraries, computer systems and other resources
    3. Smaller class sizes (17 in K-3, 26 in grades 4-12) that enable the best learning atmosphere, consistent with the citizens’ initiative
  2. School construction funds to accommodate increased growth, lower class sizes, full-day kindergarten, and maintenance (replacement of all portables)
  3. Fully funding accelerated and Special Education programs and services to fully meet the needs of every student; removing the cap on special education
  4. Inclusion of music, fine arts, civics, foreign language and physical education in Basic Education
  5. Equal opportunity for a safe and equitable education for all children regardless of status, closing the achievement gap, testing in one's primary language and extending temporary residency to young adults to access higher education who were brought here as children, access to family resources through human services
  6. Free universal pre-K school and expanding before and after-school programs
  7. Counselors, nurses and mental health specialists in every school, and school completion specialists in every high school
  8. Strong, hands-on environmental science education; hands-on science projects in grades K-5
  9. Expanding and supporting STEAM education through diverse learning opportunities in grades K-12 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) 
  10. Expanding vocational education and apprenticeship programs in middle school, high school and beyond
  11. Adopting the non-profit HiSET GED as an alternative to the for-profit Pearson GED
  12. The Federal government’s honoring its promise to adequately fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and meeting the states’ requirement of fully implementing ESSA
  13. Sufficient public funding for the state university system
  14. Tuition-free undergraduate education, technical education with 2-year degree or certificate for state residents, and affordable tuition at other state colleges and universities
  15. Need-based Pell grants that cover the cost of an undergraduate education with annual adjustments for inflation
  16. A school environment free of harassment, intimidation, bullying and violence for all students, staff, and faculty
  17. The use of facilities (locker rooms and bathrooms) that matches one's gender identity
  18. School food programs that ensure that all students have access to nutritious meals, organic and local foods that support healthy habits and classroom learning; free lunch for students who can’t pay
  19. Promoting respect for teachers, and paraeducators, including appropriate professional pay, evaluations not based on standardized tests and promoting site-based decision-making
  20. School Security Officers trained in de-escalation techniques
  21. Restorative justice practices in schools
  22. Comprehensive sexual education for all students
  23. Decoupling of high-stakes testing from graduation requirements; valuing a student’s body of work


We oppose:

  1. Voucher programs
  2. Charter schools, and if we must have them, we oppose:
    1. Any attempt to "fix" the charter school initiative
    2. Lack of public oversight and transparency of tax money expenditures including their private for-profit contractors
    3. Lack of labor protection for teachers and staff, who are not unionized or certified
    4. Teach for America's displacement of certified teachers with uncertified college graduates
    5. The "trigger" school mechanism in the charter law that allows the takeover of any school building upon the presentation of a petition by the majority of teachers or parents
    6. Excessive pay for charter school administrators in relation to public school administrators
  3. Commercial marketing to students in public schools
  4. Aggressive military recruiting in public schools
  5. Police officers posted in public schools
  6. Transferring the burden of the cost of higher education primarily to students and families
  7. High-stakes standardized SBAC testing based on Common Core Standards curricula
  8. Disciplinary actions that disproportionately impact students of color
  9. All out-of-school suspensions