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So far GrAdTaComa has created 76 blog entries.

Support WA LASER Budget Proviso Request

Please join teachers, superintendents and other education professionals from across the state in supporting the Washington State LASER budget proviso request. This session, LASER is advocating for a modest increase in funding to $700,000 from $356,000 to double the number of school districts served by LASER in helping with strategic planning and science leadership development. Reach out to the following Senators and Representatives who serve on the Budget Committee and let them know you support this increase. An email template is provided for guidance.  CONTACT: State Representative Michelle Caldier - michelle.caldier@leg.wa.gov State Representative Drew Stokesbury - drew.stokesbary@leg.wa.gov State Representative Christine Kilduff - Jennifer.Way@leg.wa.gov State [...]

2020-02-21T12:11:23-08:00February 21st, 2020|0 Comments

Testimony: Using Data to Improve CTE Opportunities

Washington State has one of the most open legislatures in the country. There are plenty of opportunities for an advocate to testify before Senate and House committees even if they are unable to attend public hearings. Advocates can contact their legislator by writing a letter, sending an e-mail, calling the legislator's Olympia office, or by calling the Legislative Hotline. Monique Valenzuela, Executive Director of the Youth Marine Foundation, shares her written testimony to Representative Alex Ybarra in support of HB 2128 to establish new reporting requirements for the delivery and improvement of career and technical education.      To: Representative [...]

2020-02-14T12:44:33-08:00February 14th, 2020|0 Comments

New Apartments Ready to Help Tacoma Students in Need of Affordable Housing

Koz Development last year announced it was opening up its Koz on Market to help students find affordable housing. This year, a second Koz property is launching another program to help more students struggling with finding a place in Tacoma they can afford. Tacoma Housing Authority and Koz Development on Friday announced Koz at the Dome, 304 Puyallup Ave., has opened 64 of its 152 units to homeless and low-income students attending University Washington Tacoma or Tacoma Community College. Additionally, the site can serve homeless unaccompanied Tacoma Public School (TPS) seniors 18 or older who are also enrolled at TCC [...]

2020-02-10T10:42:53-08:00February 10th, 2020|0 Comments

Highlights From Graduate Tacoma Advocacy Day 2020

Over 25 Graduate Tacoma representatives spent the day in Olympia last week meeting with members of the Pierce County Delegation and state agencies. This was our first-ever advocacy day and the goals were simple; introduce the work of this partnership, learn about our delegation’s priorities and gain experience as new advocates. Representatives met with legislators and their staffs to discuss issues around investments in early learning, student homelessness, access to education, and workforce opportunities. We were pleasantly surprised to hear that many legislators, including Rep. Melanie Morgan and Rep. Jake Fey, were not only familiar with our work but also passionate about [...]

2020-02-07T14:15:59-08:00February 7th, 2020|0 Comments

Meet the Staff: Chanel R. Hall

Chanel R. Hall is the Tacoma STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Learning Network Manager at the Foundation for Tacoma Students. With a background in Chemistry, Chanel is passionate about creating opportunities for students of color and girls to have access and more experiences with STEM and STEAM. Her role at the Foundation is to facilitate and manage the STEAM Learning Network that is currently focused on creating a positive culture and joy about mathematics and expanding Career Connected Learning opportunities that include worksite tours to industries, connect educators to workforce, and hands-on student challenges. To support further STEAM [...]

2020-01-30T11:59:18-08:00January 30th, 2020|0 Comments

Investments in Early Learning Promote Stronger Families and Economy

Two early learning bills introduced to legislators this week propose making early child care and education more affordable and accessible for Washington state families: the Fair Start for Kids Act (HB 2661) and the Early Care and Education Act (SB 6253).  The two-hour House hearing on Tuesday included over forty early learning advocates from all walks of life who testified with a similar message: when you invest in our youngest citizens, you invest in a stronger economy and healthier families.  To that end, I'd like to share a short personal story. My husband and I welcomed our daughter Lily in [...]

2020-01-24T12:32:21-08:00January 24th, 2020|0 Comments

White Paper: Lasting Investments in Early Learning

It’s time to make lasting investments in quality early learning opportunities for more Washington children.  Long-term, sustainable financing of high-quality, community-based child-care and preschool opportunities will help ensure that success for Washington children throughout their educational career – and beyond – is not determined by their zip code, family income, race, or ethnicity.  Overview Mountains of research show that children who enter school ready to learn are more likely to achieve later academic success, attain higher levels of education, and secure greater success in employment than those who arrive unprepared. States that invest in child-care opportunities that are available, accessible, appropriate, [...]

2020-01-14T15:33:44-08:00January 14th, 2020|0 Comments

White Paper: Special Education Matters

We must fulfill our duty to meet the needs of students receiving special education services. A new funding model for special education services will allow the state to meet its obligation to equitably provide for the needs of students with disabilities – a duty just as critical to the future success of students, families, schools, and local communities as its duty to provide for basic education services. Overview Federal law requires schools to provide every student with a disability a free and appropriate education, which, in Washington, includes 140,000 students. Yet our state’s arbitrary funding allocation for students eligible for special education [...]

2020-01-14T13:52:02-08:00January 14th, 2020|0 Comments

White Paper: Safe & Quality Learning Environments For All

With Proposition 1, Tacoma voters have the opportunity to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for all Tacoma students Over the past decade, Tacoma students have made improvements that are nothing less than astounding; they deserve schools, classrooms, and playfields that continue to improve right along with them. Tacoma voters can support Tacoma students by voting to approve Prop. 1 on Feb. 11, 2020. Back in 2010, as just over half of Tacoma students were graduating high school, Tacoma schools were nationally shamed as dropout factories by USA Today. As uncomfortable as it was, this ignominious recognition served as a [...]

2020-01-14T13:32:51-08:00January 14th, 2020|0 Comments

What it Really Takes to Get an Education After High School

While high school graduation rates have increased in Tacoma over the past nine years, postsecondary enrollment and completion rates have remained stagnant (49% and 55% respectively). Understanding the role a postsecondary education has in attaining living-wage employment, the Graduate Tacoma movement has doubled-down on its efforts to connect students seeking an education after high school with the supports they need. Last fall, the Foundation for Tacoma Students launched an environmental scan that studied the factors most challenging to Tacoma students seeking a postsecondary education. Grounded in interviews with community nonprofits and institutions, a survey of families and youth from the [...]

2020-01-13T16:01:20-08:00January 13th, 2020|0 Comments