REYKDAL: Legislature Makes Critical Investments in Students, Educators, Families
On Thursday, the Legislature passed their final budgets and adjourned the 2022 Legislative Session. Below is State Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s statement.
OLYMPIA — March 11, 2022 — Yesterday, the Legislature concluded the legislative session, committing to critical and timely investments that will support the long-term success of all of Washington’s young people.
Most notably, the Legislature made significant increases in the funding provided to schools for staffing to support students’ physical, mental, and emotional health. Funding for these additional staff will be phased-in over the next few years, and schools will begin receiving additional resources for these positions by next fall — having a near-immediate impact on our schools’ ability to support students in pandemic recovery.
Prioritizing the need for all students to learn in a safe building, the Legislature also made a substantial investment to expand support for school seismic safety retrofits. They also provided funding for school construction needs in small school districts, as well as for schools damaged by natural disasters.
In addition, the Legislature invested in expanding access to financial education, modernizing mathematics, ensuring all families can engage with their child’s school in their native language, streamlining the process for families to apply for free and reduced-price meals, enhancing student media literacy, modernizing equipment in skill center healthcare simulation labs, and more.
The Legislature also made substantial investments in housing, human services, and mental health services. Schools don’t operate in a vacuum, and students don’t learn at their best when they are experiencing insecurity in food or housing, struggling with their mental health, or navigating other concerns in their lives. Expanding support in these areas has far-reaching impacts in our classrooms and communities.
I’m grateful to the budget writers and all of the legislators who honorably serve on the education and fiscal committees. This session, they made a clear statement about Washington’s commitment to our students, educators, and families.