The Washington Roundtable, a founding partner of Opportunity Washington, has released its 2015 Chair’s Report, an assessment of progress made on the organization’s policy agenda. Roundtable chair Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group, reports:
Governor Jay Inslee and the Legislature are to be applauded for policies and critical investments enacted this year that will yield benefits for generations to come.
He cites the transportation package, a balanced budget with major increases in education funding, and major education reforms. Examples of the reforms:
Along with funding, lawmakers made advancements in education policy that will improve education quality and accessibility across the preschool-topostsecondary continuum. They passed the Early Start Act, which sets quality standards and provides for expansion of early learning programs. They passed legislation requiring creation of K-12 computer science learning standards and a computer science endorsement for teachers. They approved a phased reduction in resident undergraduate tuition at the state’s postsecondary institutions, which will make postsecondary education more accessible for Washington families.
Tilden points out what it took to achieve these gains:
Legislative successes achieved in 2015 are the result of bipartisanship, compromise and a collective commitment to building a better state.
And he concludes,
As a state, we must continue to improve and adapt for the future, focusing on the fundamentals – education, infrastructure and economic vitality – that will expand opportunity and shared prosperity to all of Washington.
Much of the Opportunity Washington priorities for shared prosperity aligns closely with the Roundtable’s priorities. And we agree: Much has been accomplished this year, and much remains to be accomplished in the coming months and years.