Washington State Innovates
Washington State Innovates: K-12 Education for the 21st Century and Beyond is a series of budget and policy proposals, unveiled by State Superintendent Chris Reykdal in July–November 2022, to transform Washington's K–12 education system.
Equitable Access to Strong Foundations
On November 10, 2022, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal announced his proposals to expand the Imagination Library of Washington, a free program for families that is proven to enhance early literacy; to remove out-of-pocket student and family costs for school supplies; as well as plans to enhance the state’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program.
Our youngest learners do not have equitable access to high-quality early learning experiences, and our kindergarten readiness data reflect these opportunity gaps. These proposals aim to close some of these gaps and address some of the financial barriers that impact our students and families. This is an opportunity to better support and prepare our youngest learners to thrive in school.
- Equitable Access to Strong Foundations press release
- Washington State Innovates: School Supplies
- Transitional Kindergarten Overview
- Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Announces Expansion in Washington
- Dolly Parton's Imagination Library | Thomas' Story
- OSPI Explains: What is Transitional Kindergarten, and How Does It Work?
Transformative Budget & Policy Proposals
- Increasing Retention of Washington's Educators
On October 20, 2022, Superintendent Reykdal outlined a budget proposal to support Washington’s educators and reduce turnover. Under Reykdal’s proposal, the Legislature would provide hiring bonuses for positions that are harder to fill, increase the salary allocation for all school employees to adjust for inflation, address inequities in the current school funding model, and fund neighboring school districts in areas with higher costs of living more equitably.
Our educators are critical to the fabric of our school communities. High rates of teacher turnover have proven impacts on students’ academic success, as well as on feelings of connection and stability among teachers within the school. This proposal aims to reduce teacher turnover and more equitably fund our school districts.
- Increasing Educator Retention press conference
- Increasing Retention of Washington Educators press release
- Washington State Innovates: Educator Retention
- Ask OSPI: How Will Supt. Reykdal’s Plan to Increase Educator Retention Work?
At the direction of the Legislature, OSPI convened a workgroup to recommend changes to ensure Washington’s school funding model provides competitive salaries for school employees. OSPI submitted a proposal with streamlined recommendations to the Governor and Legislature for consideration in the 2023 Legislative Session.
- Equitable Access to Dual Credit
On October 5, 2022, Superintendent Reykdal launched a proposal that would remove out-of-pocket costs charged to students and their families for College in the High School, Running Start, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Cambridge International. The proposal would also provide funding to support student participation in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Dual Credit programs and attainment of state-approved industry-recognized credentials.
The goal of our education system is to prepare all of our students for their post-secondary aspirations, whatever they may be. Removing this financial barrier will provide more students with the opportunity to graduate with college credit or an industry-recognized credential, setting them up for success.
- Equitable Access to Dual Credit Press Conference
- Equitable Access to Dual Credit press release
- OSPI Explains: What are Dual Credit Programs?
- Washington State Innovates: Dual Credit
- Kickstarting college and Career Readiness by Eliminating Financial Barriers to Dual Credit
OSPI has submitted the proposal to the Governor and Legislature for consideration in the 2023 Legislative Session. If funded, Washington’s high school students would no longer be charged out-of-pocket fees for dual credit courses and programs like Running Start and Advanced Placement.
- Universal Access to School Meals
On September 8, 2022, Superintendent Reykdal proposed that the state and federal government cover the full costs of school meals for all of Washington’s 1.1 million students. This would allow all of Washington's students to receive school meals at no charge as part of their basic education.
When students are hungry, their ability to learn and engage in school is impacted. Quality nutrition is a key component of student success and access to meals is an important part of being at school. We have to stop expecting families to foot the bill for resources and supports that are a normal part of the school day.
- Universal Access to School Meals press conference
- Universal Access to School Meals press release
- OSPI Explains: What are School Meal Programs
- Supporting our Students & Families with Universal School Meals
- Washington State Innovates: School Meals
OSPI will submit the proposal to the Governor and Legislature for consideration in the 2023 Legislative Session. If funded, all Washington students will have access to universal school meals by the beginning of the 2023–24 school year.
- Dual Language Expansion
On August 24, 2022, Superintendent Reykdal announced his plan to expand access to dual language education to all Washington students.
Across Washington, 35,000 students spanning 42 school districts and state-tribal education compact schools learn in dual language programs. Under Reykdal’s plan, these numbers will increase steadily over the coming years so that all Washington students will have access to dual language education in grades K–8 by 2040.
The evidence is clear: When young people become bilingual during the early grades, they have more cognitive flexibility and they perform better in school. As our global economy changes and our world becomes increasingly international, dual language education must become a core opportunity for our students.
- Elective Credit for Work Hours
On August 4, 2022, Superintendent Reykdal announced his plan to allow students ages 16+ to earn elective credits toward their high school diploma through paid work experience that is verified by their school.
Under Reykdal’s plan, students could earn credits at a rate of 1 elective credit for 360 hours worked or 0.5 elective credits for 180 hours worked. Students will be allowed to earn up to 4 elective credits through work experience, and no more than 2 of those credits may be earned in a year.
Through work experience, students learn employability and leadership skills––skills like interpersonal communication, personal finance, time management, taking direction, receiving critical feedback, and following through on commitments––that support their long-term success in the workforce and in life.
- Timber Revenue and School Construction
On July 19, 2022, Superintendent Reykdal laid out his plan for reallocating funding from the K–12 Common School Trust, which currently provides a small percentage of the funding for school construction across Washington.
In his plan, a portion of revenues from timber harvested in the rural communities—which currently are primarily provided to school districts in urban communities—would be retained within the communities that generate the dollars. In addition, Reykdal proposed that the state reallocate a portion of the funds to support forest health and preservation.
Rural communities in Washington have long generated this revenue through timber harvests and other trust land activities, but are not often the beneficiaries of it, Reykdal said. We should be investing this revenue within the communities where it’s generated and using a portion of the dollars to support forest health and preservation.
- Timber Revenue and School Construction press conference
- Timber Revenue and School Construction press release
- Washington State Innovates: Timber Revenue video
Reykdal will propose the change during the upcoming legislative session as part of his 2023–25 Capital Budget request.