Meet Our Newest Collaborative Action Network!

This fall, we will launch the Graduate Tacoma Advocacy Network as our newest Collaborative Action Network. With this new Network, Graduate Tacoma aims to elevate the Tacoma/Pierce County voice to address impactful local, regional, and state policy issues that further our goals for a Tacoma where every child succeeds from cradle to college and career. Now is the time to build strong advocates for policies that disrupt longstanding inequities for historically underserved communities like ours. Last year, the Foundation for Tacoma Students launched advocacy efforts for the first time in [...]

Meet Our Newest Collaborative Action Network!2019-07-11T15:21:52-07:00

Statewide school levy ‘fix’ has put Tacoma in a fix

An edited version of this article was published in The News Tribune on April 20, 2019 Why has the Legislature’s solution to provide more uniform and equitable state education funding left 253 of the state’s 295 school districts facing devastating budget cuts this school year? A court case in 2012, known as the McCleary decision, found the state to be derelict in its paramount duty to fund basic education. After five years of effort, the Legislature’s ultimate fix to the issues raised by McCleary was to cap local levy dollars in exchange [...]

Statewide school levy ‘fix’ has put Tacoma in a fix2019-04-25T09:51:55-07:00

Planning for a Career with Next Move

Christian Isaac is a youth program director at the YMCA. It’s a career path he didn’t know he wanted until enrolling in one of the first cohorts of the Next Move internship program. The Washington State Legislature is considering raising the enrichment levy lid, which will help plug a $30M budget shortfall for Tacoma Public Schools. The Next Move internship program is one of many enrichment programs that those levy-dollars have previously funded. Through Christian Isaac and students behind him it’s also a bright example of collective impact at its [...]

Planning for a Career with Next Move2019-04-25T11:16:51-07:00

Bills are Dropping!

Bills for four of our five advocacy priorities have dropped and action campaigns are gearing up. Here are the latest updates: PRIORITY ONE: Equalize the School Levy Cap Levy Equalization Bill SB5316 by Senator Wellman was introduced and read into the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education. PRIORITY TWO: Fully Fund the Washington College Promise Scholarship Formerly the Higher Education State Need Grant, the WA College Promise Scholarship SB5393/HB1340 was introduced and read into the Senate Committee on Higher Education & Workforce Development. PRIORITY THREE: Resource Career Connected [...]

Bills are Dropping!2019-04-25T12:51:04-07:00

Tacoma Schools Take Victory Lap for Graduation Rate, Sets Sights on Olympia

Tacoma Public School District officials, teachers and community partners held a short-and-sweet celebration last week to mark the release of its graduation figures. Now the district will focus on lawmakers in Olympia to shore up state funding for schools. So far the district has been forced to lay off staff and foresees more cuts with a projected shortfall of $38 million next year. The crowd was all smiles at a ceremony at the Eastside Community Center last week when school officials and community backers marked the fact that the graduation [...]

Tacoma Schools Take Victory Lap for Graduation Rate, Sets Sights on Olympia2019-04-25T12:45:08-07:00

A Strong Opening Week in Olympia

The Washington State Legislature has kicked off the 2019 Session, and there is a lot of momentum to be excited about! Four of our five Advocacy Priorities have been included in Governor Inslee’s Budget this year. We also received local news coverage that shared our concerns for the school levy cap. We are thrilled to begin a strong campaign on behalf of all Tacoma students. What to expect from us: Weekly email updates about policy movement, upcoming hearings, events and votes. Text action alerts as issues take bill forms and [...]

A Strong Opening Week in Olympia2019-01-31T12:05:51-07:00

Tacoma Graduation Rates are at a Record High, but Budget Challenges Pose Threat

As Tacoma Public Schools leaders celebrate record-high graduation rates, the district’s budget deficit looms. Tacoma Public Schools reached an 89.3 percent graduation rate in 2018, more than 3 percent higher than the 86.1 percent earned in 2017. It’s the highest it’s been since the state began tracking it in 2003. “Our graduation rate has gone up for the eighth straight year,” Karen Vialle, president of the Tacoma Public Schools board of directors, said at a celebratory event on Jan. 10. More students of color, low-income, English Language Learners (ELL) and [...]

Tacoma Graduation Rates are at a Record High, but Budget Challenges Pose Threat2019-01-31T13:50:31-07:00

Introducing our 2019 Policy Agenda

All of us here at the Foundation for Tacoma Students are thankful to have had some downtime before jumping into what promises to be our busiest year yet. Kicking off 2019 is the opening of the Washington State Legislative Session! This is an exciting time for the Foundation and the Graduate Tacoma movement as we grow into becoming an even stronger advocate for every child in our community. Throughout the 2019 Legislative Session, we will advocate for policies that Allow our community to continue making deep investments in our students' [...]

Introducing our 2019 Policy Agenda2019-01-31T13:08:41-07:00

Frequently Asked Questions: Advocacy at the Foundation for Tacoma Students

What type of advocacy will the Foundation for Tacoma Students engage in? The Foundation for Tacoma Students is a 501c3 nonprofit and legally allowed to advocate on the local, regional and state level within the following perimeters: The Foundation will never participate in campaigns on behalf of, or in opposition to, political candidates to public office. The Foundation’s advocacy for legislative and public policies will not exceed 20 percent of its total expenditures – commonly known as lobbying. The Foundation’s advocacy efforts will abide by the IRS’ substantial part test. In doing [...]

Frequently Asked Questions: Advocacy at the Foundation for Tacoma Students2019-01-03T15:31:14-07:00

Advocacy Core Principles

The Foundation for Tacoma Students envisions a Tacoma where every child succeeds in school, career and life. The Foundation’s mission is to build and strengthen Tacoma’s community-wide movement (Graduate Tacoma) to help every child achieve success from cradle to college and career. The Foundation for Tacoma Students Advocacy Core Principles: Robust quality investments must be made in education from early learning through higher education. Closing opportunity gaps for our most structurally disadvantaged populations will require keeping equity at the center. Improving educational outcomes for all students must include transparency, accountability, [...]

Advocacy Core Principles2019-01-28T12:53:30-07:00