Student’s Testimony to Senators

Carmen Gray is a fifth grader at Fairmount Park Elementary. Last night, at the only Seattle-area listening tour of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee in Renton, Carmen delivered her public testimony:

My name is Carmen Gray. I am a fifth grader at Fairmount Park Elementary in West Seattle.

The first thing I would like to ask you is: why? Why are even here today? The Supreme Court was very clear in the McCleary ruling. Everybody needs a good education. Our current system of funding fuels the opportunity gap leaving poor neighborhoods with underfunded schools and richer neighborhoods with the advantage.

You as a legislator need to rip of the band-aid and raise taxes. Quoting from the Washington State Constitution,” It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all students residing within its borders.”  The amount of money needed for this has been identified and the current tax revenue is inadequate.

We can’t fix this with bake sales and auctions. We need your help to succeed in our founders’ goals. In fact we need to go for extra credit on the McCleary assignment. This year alone my family spent $130 on basic supplies like pencils and paper. This should be supplied by the state along with proper salary for staff.

Last year I had 42 kids in my math class that was packed so full that there weren’t enough desks for everybody. Kids were sitting on the floor! My school district tried to fix the lack of funding by cutting teachers. Is this right because it is just ridiculous?

Washington is a beautiful state with a strong economy. We should have the best schools! Please do the tough work and fund McCleary! Thank you for your time. <smile emoticon>


October 18, 2015

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FFthanks_teachersThere will be no school on Tuesday, May 19th, as teachers throughout the Seattle Public Schools District unify to send an important message to the state legislature. If you are available to support their efforts, please consider participating in West Seattle and/or downtown activities.

The staff of Chief Sealth International High School invites the community to join them in “not sitting idly by” as we implore the Legislature of the State of Washington to comply with the Washington State Supreme Court’s Order to adequately fund Public Education for our students: Tuesday morning, May 19th, 2015 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. in front of Chief Sealth International High School.

Seattle Education Association has organized the following events throughout the day:

8:00 AM
Picketing near the following high schools: West Seattle, Chief Sealth, Rainier Beach, Franklin, Garfield, Roosevelt, Ballard, and Hale
11:00 AM
Gather at Seattle Center – Broad Street, by EMP (click for map)
11:15 AM
March to Westlake Plaza via 2nd Avenue
Noon – 1:30 PM
Rally at Westlake Plaza
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
March back to Seattle Center via 4th Avenue

The City of Seattle is providing FREE activities for students during the Walkout, but space is limited, so please click here for registration details.

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Two Important Meetings Tomorrow

Seattle Public Schools Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee Meeting
Tuesday, January 6
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Thurgood Marshall Elementary Library
(Up the main stairs and to the left – east)

Ms. Quinlivan and Ms. Cowan are our school’s staff co-representatives.
Jennie Wyatt is our parent representative.


Paramount Duty—Learn in Seattle

Sponsored by: Seattle Education Association, League of Women Voters and Seattle Council PTSA

When: Tuesday, January 6, 2015–6:30 to 8:30pm

Where: John Stanford Center Auditorium, 2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle

Why: Because bake sales and auctions cannot fill funding gaps in basic education

Why are our schools underfunded and over-crowded? What is the Legislature doing about this? What can we do?  Hear from two dynamic speakers.  Tom Ahearne, (NEWS) the trial lawyer from the McCleary case will speak on how WA State is not meeting its “Paramount Duty” to fully fund education. He will also talk about the latest “contempt” decision on holding our legislators accountable.  Andrew Nicholas from the WA State Budget and Policy Center will talk about the challenges of financing basic education and the reforms to the revenue system that can make that possible.

It is FREE, but seating is limited.  RSVP at:

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APP Advisory Committee Announcements

From Fairmount Park Elementary’s APP Advisory Committee Representative, Jennie Wyatt:

Welcome to a new school year! We wanted to let you know about a few items as we launch into this 2014-15 year.

First, a reminder that the deadline to apply  for Advanced Learning Test is October 2. The forms can be found here:

Second, you have already seen or heard about the name change for APP.  The Advanced Learning Office announced at the beginning of September that the Accelerated Progress Program will now be called the Highly Capable Cohort. The name change mirrors the State’s terminology for Highly Capable Services. The HCC refers specifically to the students who are both qualified for highly capable services and enrolled at specific sites. These changes are explained here:
As a result, the APP Advisory Committee will also undergo a name change to the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee, or HSC AC. You will see that change reflected in future communications.
Third, the meeting schedule for the Advisory Committee is as follows (although locations may be subject to change):
Tuesday, October 7, 6:30-8:30 pm, Garfield High School Library
Tuesday, November 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, Lincoln Library
Tuesday, December 2, 6:30-8:30 pm, Thurgood Marshall Library
Tuesday, January 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, Hamilton International Middle School Library
Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8:30 pm, Washington Middle School Library
Tuesday, March 3, 6:30-8:30 pm, Jane Addams Middle School Library
Tuesday, April 7, 6:30-8:30 pm, Fairmount Park Elementary School Library
Tuesday, May 5, 6:30-8:30 pm, Ingraham High School Library
Tuesday, June 2, 6:30-8:30 pm, Garfield High School Library
Meeting agendas will be sent out with reminders at least one week prior to the meeting date. Please direct any questions or concerns to parent representatives prior to the meeting, to facilitate the discussion.
We look forward to a productive year ahead.
Parent Representatives:
Staff Representatives:

Help Washington State PTA Advocate for Kids

The PTA’s vision is to make every child’s potential a reality. Day today, PTA works in classrooms and communities across the state, but we also advocate in Olympia for the well-being and education of all children. Every fall, the association selects its legislative priorities, and hearing from you is a valuable step in the process. Your responses will assist voting delegates who attend Legislative Assembly in Vancouver on October 24th and 25th in setting the 2015-16 Legislative Platform. The survey closes on September 30, 2014.

Thanks so much for advocating for children. Together we speak in a powerful voice!