Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog

Progress for kids, but lots more to do

Late last week, the regular legislative session ended, and Governor Jay Inslee called legislators back to work, starting this Wednesday, to accomplish the critical task of writing the next two-year operating budget.

State legislators and engaged Washingtonians have made tremendous progress over the past four months in building the kind of future Washington’s kids deserve. Both chambers of the Legislature passed their respective versions of the Early Start Act, which makes historic investments in the first five years of life.

U.S. Senate applauded for extending kids' health care coverage


From the Children's Alliance news page:

Advocates for children and families in Washington applauded the U.S. Senate for passing a bill yesterday that extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years.

The vote follows passage of identical legislation in the House. It demonstrates that members of Congress overwhelmingly support the CHIP program and understand it is vital to keeping kids across the country healthy.

“This vote demonstrates the overwhelming popularity of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and for getting kids the health coverage they need to succeed,” said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance.

Washington’s tax system is endangering kids

All children deserve a great start in life. But our state’s tax system puts too many of them in harm’s way. Our tax system is:

Inequitable. Washington’s tax system is the most regressive in the nation: Low-income families pay a much higher proportion of their income than do wealthy families. The racial wealth gap means that children of color are also more likely to live in households that bear a disproportionate share of responsibility for our state’s basic services.

Regressive taxation hurts kids of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, because 4 out of 10 Washington children live in a disproportionately tax-burdened low- or moderate-income home.

The KIDS COUNT in Washington Racial Equity Policy Tool

 

Our public policies—the laws, budgets, rules and other decisions of elected representatives—can either help kids succeed or put obstacles in their path. Racial equity assessment tools can shape our public choices so that they enhance every child’s access to opportunity. 

Home visiting is a powerful tool for families


Home visiting helps parents get their children off to the best possible start in life. But right now, this highly needed service needs your support.

At the end of March, federal funding for home visiting is set to expire without congressional action to extend the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. MIECHV has allowed an additional 1,300 Washington families to receive home visiting services.  

Statement in support of the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act

We support the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act in the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session. It is a double win for kids.

Climate stability is good for kids. A warming planet, and related environmental changes, negatively impacts all life and particularly children and families with the fewest resources.

An equal start to the school day

 

From left: Sandra Schafer, teacher in Highline School District, with Aki Kurose middle school students Elena Uncango and Ashley Clark and Aki Kurose staff member Rayonna Tobin. They traveled from Seattle to Olympia Wednesday to voice their support for House Bill 1295 / Senate Bill 5437.

One of the most treasured parts of our state Constitution is Article IX, section 1, the guarantee for Washington families of a basic education for their children.

As courts, governing officials, parents and policymakers now know, we have fallen short in this promise to kids. 

One of the ways that educational inequity shows up in the lives of children is when local tax levies help schools with higher-value property raise more money. America’s legacy of racial discrimination restricted children of color to poorer communities. Because of this, the schools that are financially under-resourced are tasked with educating the children most vulnerable to household hunger. This disparity is another feature of the opportunity gap between children of color and children in low-income families and kids growing up in more affluent school districts.

We can do something, this session, to close that gap by passing House Bill 1295 / Senate Bill 5437, ensuring that more children in high-poverty areas have the fuel to learn all day.

The Early Start Act: Why culturally relevant care matters

Opportunities for positive change don’t come along every day. But right now, we have the historic opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of children. Together, we can seize it.

The bipartisan Early Start Act, sponsored by Sen. Steve Litzow (R – Mercer Island) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D – Seattle), would integrate the latest findings on how children learn into the everyday lives of Washington’s babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The bill would:

What's at Stake for Kids in Olympia in 2015

 

The New Year brings a new legislative session, with new challenges and new opportunities for Washington’s kids. 

In order to make sure kids are put at the center of government’s concern this year, it’s helpful to know who holds power, and how, in the State capitol.

Advocates at the Capitol Steps, January 2014.

The fall 2014 elections resulted in a state Senate majority of 25 Republicans and a minority of 24 Democrats. In the House, a 51-member Democratic majority holds power, while Republicans hold the remaining 47 seats.

Each elected representative works within the political party of his or her choice. Within the House and Senate, these parties meet as a unit. They are called caucuses. The caucus is a closed forum for discussing ideas and proposing action. One Senate Democrat, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch), chooses to meet in his Republican colleagues’ caucus.  This is the Majority Coalition Caucus.

Initiative 1351, concerning K-12 education


During election season, the Children’s Alliance analyzes statewide ballot measures. Whether we support, oppose, or don’t get involved is based on the answer to one fundamental question:  Is it good for kids and for racial equity?

Today, we announce our opposition to Initiative 1351 concerning K-12 education.