Lawmakers will convene in Olympia in less than a month to kick off the long 2017 legislative session. In advance of that, we are happy to share our 2017 Policy Agenda, which outlines our policy priorities for the coming year, focusing on two overriding issues: Education and Economic Vitality. In more detail:
The majority of job openings in our state in the coming years – particularly those that will support upward mobility and good quality of life – will be filled by workers who have postsecondary education or training. Recognizing the need to prepare our kids for these opportunities, the Roundtable has set an ambitious goal: By 2030, 70 percent of Washington students will earn a postsecondary credential by the age of 26. Today, only 31 percent of our students do so. Our state must take a “cradle to career” approach to raising the postsecondary attainment rate for students growing up here.
• Address the Washington Supreme Court’s McCleary decision in a manner that leads to student achievement gains, particularly in low-performing schools and among struggling students.
• Set clear goals and measure progress as part of a robust education accountability system.
• Maintain the state’s commitment to higher education and increased postsecondary capacity with a particular focus on high-demand STEM degrees.
• Support improvements in school readiness.
2) Economic Vitality
Lawmakers should continue to foster economic growth in 2017, delivering a sustainable biennial budget that invests in priority services, such as education, and paying thoughtful attention to policies that have the greatest impacts on job creation and business investment in our state.
• Support continued implementation of the Connecting Washington transportation package.
• Encourage job growth and prosperity statewide.