I came to the legislature more than 13 years ago to fix the way we fund education in Washington State. Towards that end I’ve led the charge to clarify and broaden the definition of “basic education,” successfully reduced K-3 class sizes, funded all day kindergarten, and provided students with adequate materials and supplies in their classrooms. Clearly there is still work to do on the remaining portions of McCleary, but the end is in sight and the problems (and reasonable solutions) are well understood.
Late last week Governor Inslee asked me to help with another key element of the education continuum and to serve as the Director of the Department of Early Learning. (Press release here.) With the passage of the Early Start Act this year the Legislature made an historic investment in high quality opportunities for all of our state’s children. I’m incredibly pleased with the opportunity to have huge positive impact on outcomes for young children. I look forward to leading the implementation of this act and taking DEL in new and exciting directions.
I want to thank my constituents in the 48th district for their support and dedicated engagement during my tenure here. I also want to acknowledge the high caliber colleagues I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with for more than a decade. As I transition into my new role, I look forward to continued collaboration with the Legislature towards breaking the cycle of poverty in our state through high-quality education for all.