The Bottom Line Washington Legislator Champions for Most Vulnerable
Former Washington State Representative, Paul Graves, is a true hero for foster children within this state. Foster children are some of Washington’s most vulnerable and on any assumed night there are roughly 10,000 kids in foster care in Washington.
When Paul was in the legislature in the 2017-18 biennium, he worked on House bill 3010, which would have created a foster student scholarship program for children and youth in foster care, this giving them the option to attend the public or private school of their caregiver’s choice. Unfortunately, the bill was introduced too late into session and had not been able to make it out of committee. However, in this legislative session, a new State Representative, Chris Corry (R-Yakima) has introduced House bill 1969 which continues to carry on Paul’s work with a few minor additions.
Liv Finne, the Director for the Center for Education at the Washington Policy Center outlines HB 1969 clearly and coherently. She states that “HB 1969 would serve the public interest by ensuring that all children have access to a supportive learning environment and to personalized care that meets their educational needs.”
Not only does this bill provide more choice to foster parents and caregiver’s, it enhances a student’s chance at an improved education, especially those who are most vulnerable and are in dire need of a better education.
As Don Nielsen, a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute writes “It is hard to defend the notion that parents should not have a say in where their child attends school. Virtually every other aspect of raising a child is based upon the decision of the parent. What a child eats, where she lives, when she sleeps, who her doctor is, what books she reads, etc., are all decisions made by parents. However, the formal education of the child, which is probably the most important aspect of raising a child, is not currently a parental choice. We need to put the parents or guardians in charge of their child’s education.” HB 1969 is a must for Washington State.