2023 Policy Platform: Committing to our Future

The Foundation for Tacoma Students is excited to introduce our 2023 Policy Platform, Committing to our Future. Our Platform lays out a comprehensive set of policies and investments that respond to the educational impacts of COVID-19 and invest in the future of our youth. We aim to ensure that all students across our PreK-12 and postsecondary systems are on the path to success in school, career, and life. At the same time, we keep equity at the center of our work, as the policy platform will disproportionately benefit students from lower-income or working-class families, and students of color.

In the near term, we will focus on learning acceleration for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years to help our students recover
academically from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will ask for investments at the State level to build a great workforce of principals and teachers. Additionally, we will ask the State to provide free access to advanced coursework to help build a PreK through 12th-grade system that provides an exceptional learning environment and gives students a jump start on their post-high-school plans. Lastly, we will advocate for students’ overall health and well-being through free school breakfast and lunch.

Beyond 2023 and 2024, we want to see fundamental changes to Washington’s school funding model that addresses the need for increased funding overall and the structure of how we raise and distribute funding, bringing true equity into the system. Additionally, we want to ensure that every high school graduate is on the path to a postsecondary credential or a good-earning wage job. To do so, we will ensure that students get the support they need to complete the FAFSA or WASFA and two free years of community or technical college.

Below is a timeline of how a sixth-grade student would benefit from these policies through the course of their school career:

Like everything we do at the Foundation, our policy efforts center around our 2030 community-wide goal. As we build our policy muscles, our priority remains working with and alongside the community we serve. Not only in the policy outcomes we are working toward but also in creating our policy strategies. This intentional focus on centering diverse voices and stakeholders ensures our policy ideas are equitable, inclusive, and effective.

We worked with a great group of partners, who made up the Policy Agenda Committee, to develop our Platform. The committee convened through the summer and fall of 2022 to collectively arrive at policy-level issues that address some of the most persistent challenges faced by students in our community. As a committee, we identified the following opportunities for policy change.

2023 State & Local Level Focus Areas


  • Utilize federal Learning Loss Recovery funds to invest in effective interventions and strategies to accelerate learning recovery.

    We will prioritize investments and policies that will make up for the lost instructional time during the pandemic.

  • Free breakfast and lunch for all students, regardless of household income status.

    We will provide free meals to all students who are part of our PreK-12 education system.

  • Develop, support, and retain great school principals; and invest in high-quality teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention programs.

    We will ensure that principals and teachers have a robust set of professional development, training and mentorship programs provided as part of their employment.


  • Invest in expanded and equitable access to advanced coursework opportunities in high school that provide the opportunity to earn postsecondary credit.

    We will provide zero-cost college credit-earning programs to all students.

2024 & Beyond State & Local Level Priorities


  • Revise key aspects of Washington’s prototypical school funding model to fund schools equitably, based on the needs of students.

    We will increase overall PreK-12 school funding levels and rewrite our funding model to bring true equity to the system based on student needs.


  • Adopt a universal FAFSA/WASFA completion policy with robust counseling and advising support.

    We will ensure that every student gets the financial aid they are entitled.

  • Create an expansive College Promise Program that covers 100% of tuition for all students, plus non-tuition expenses and support services for the most disadvantaged students.

    We will make Community and Technical College free for all students.

Legislative Check-in

Join our weekly check-ins during the 2023 legislative session for updates on the state legislature and advocacy opportunities. These brief meetings are open to any interested individual or organization.