What's new in K-12 education?

Legislative update from Olympia

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hwy 2

This week, I met with constituents sharing their concerns about the completion of Highway 2. I appreciated the opportunity to see them in Olympia!

Dear Neighbor,


Of the thousands of emails and phone calls I have received during the 2020 Legislative session, the majority have been focused on issues we are looking at in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. My philosophy on our education system is that it should be locally driven, where decisions about curriculum and spending are made by our school boards and respect the unique culture of each district. Unfunded mandates from Olympia only diminish the hard work of our school leadership and teachers. Providing the necessary tools for positive outcomes and providing a place where our youth can thrive should be the focus of our work in Olympia.

Legislative video update

See my legislative update where I talk about some of the more controversial education bills impacting students and families in our state.


While legislators don’t always agree on proposed legislation and policies, it’s important to highlight the proposals we do agree on and shine a light on how they will benefit students across our state. You can read more about these bills below.

The latest from the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee

Bills that have been voted out of the Education and K-12 Committee

Senate Bill 6092 – posthumous high school diplomas. This bill would allow high schools to give out a diploma to a deceased student if the student had completed the 11th grade. This is a great way for schools to honor students who have tragically passed away before completing high school.

Senate Bill 6101 – early screening for dyslexia. The earlier school districts can identify needed interventions for our youth, the better. This is an excellent tool to measure the effectiveness of dyslexia programs so students get the resources they need to be successful.

Senate Bill 6117 – special education appropriations. The state allocates funding for a program of special education for students with disabilities. Special education is funded on an excess cost formula for up to 13.5 percent of a district's students. SB 6117 is just a small step in improving needed funding for some of these programs.

Senate Bill 6282  –  highly capable learning plans. Prior to 2009, parents of highly capable students were often told they would need to enroll their child in a private school in order to find the specialized curriculum for their continued growth. But after that year, the Legislature determined that highly capable instruction is part of basic education. This bill continues to ensure that children of all learning levels get the instruction they need. We need to make sure students at all learning levels have an opportunity for growth.  


Bills I support and have been heard in the Education and K-12 Committee but have not been voted out of the committee

Senate Bill 6573 - Many of the schools in the 39th District are dependent on revenue dollars from state and federal forestlands. All too often, this revenue is used against a district and their basic education allotments. SB 6573  will ensure that funding in these schools will not be reduced by any other state or federal funding they receive for forest revenue. This is an important policy that will benefit our school districts keeping these dollars right where they need to be, benefiting the students of our state.

39th Legislative District Town Hall meeting

Come and participate with your 39th LD legislators as we provide our 2020 legislative update.

When: February 22nd, 10-11:30 a.m.

Where: Putnam Hall at Arlington Municipal Airport, 18204 59th Ave NE, Arlington

Who: Sen. Keith Wagoner, Rep. Carolyn Eslick and Rep. Robert Sutherland 

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your state senator. If you need anything, my office is here for you. I can be reached by email at Keith.Wagoner@leg.wa.gov, by phone at (360) 786-7676. Or, if you are in Olympia, stop by my office, located in Room 203 of the Irv Newhouse Building on the Capitol Campus.



February 7, 2020

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Fun fact…

Each legislative update will highlight a fun fact about your 39th Legislative District State Senator!

Senator Keith Wagoner….

Was a member of 4-H (Raising goats and rabbits)