Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this email finds you well! On Monday, January 8, lawmakers returned to Olympia for the start of the 2024 legislative session. The Washington State Legislature is considered a part-time legislature.
In even-numbered years, we are granted a 60-day window to accomplish the people’s work, encompassing the approval of the supplemental operating, transportation, and capital budgets. In the initial weeks of session, our primary focus revolves around advancing pivotal policy bills through the committee process. I proudly serve on the House Education Committee, the House Appropriations Committee, and the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.
This legislative session is teeming with crucial topics and challenges, and I want to understand your perspective on the priorities the Legislature should focus on. Share your insights by participating in this brief survey by clicking this link or scanning the QR code below. Your responses will inform me of your preferences and guide our emphasis on specific topics and issues. If there’s a topic of importance to you that is not covered in this survey, feel free to contact my office. Your active participation is greatly appreciated!
2024 Priorities | Fixing the education crisis impacting students
Washington state is facing an education crisis. It is time we fix this crisis.
As the ranking Republican on the House Education Committee, one of my top priorities this session is improving our K-12 system so our students are well-equipped to succeed in life.
My focus for this session includes addressing learning loss suffered from the pandemic, requiring personal financial education as a graduation requirement, increasing funding for tutors and paraeducators in our classrooms, and keeping parents engaged in their child’s education.
I have proposed two bills to align with these priorities and contribute to the solutions addressing our education crisis.
Financial education as a graduation requirement for high school students
Empowering students with financial education is a vital means to enhance their opportunities. While some school districts have already prioritized financial education, many students aren’t receiving any financial instruction before graduation.
House Bill 1915 is geared towards bridging the gap to ensure students receive this necessary instruction before stepping into the realm of post-graduation life.
Learn more about House Bill 1915:
- Legislative action | Public hearing in the House Education Committee
- News release | Rep. Rude prefiles bipartisan legislation to make financial education a graduation requirement for high school students
- News release | Bipartisan coalition, State Treasurer back financial education bill for 2024 session
- Radio report | Rep. Skyler Rude files bill to make financial education a high school graduation requirement
- Media coverage | WA House Rep to introduce financial education grad requirement (KONA Radio)
- Media coverage | Rude files high school financial education bill (KWHT Radio)
- Media coverage | Washington lawmakers push to require financial education be taught in schools (The Spokesman-Review)
Tackling learning loss
The decision to shut down in-class instruction during the pandemic led to learning loss and a drop in test scores for many students in our schools.
The statistics prove it.
- 60% of students are not meeting grade level in math, and 50% are not meeting grade level in reading. (Source: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction)
- Washington state is ranked 25th for our overall public school system. (Source: WalletHub)
- Washington state is ranked 48th in college enrollment after high school. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)
- Washington state is ranked 31st for preschool enrollment. (Source: U.S. News & World Report)
Earlier this week, I proposed legislation designed to address learning loss by emphasizing the placement of tutors in schools and increasing the presence of paraeducators in classrooms.
House Bill 2387 would improve student outcomes by funding additional paraeducators to deliver high-quality, personalized instruction for students in math and reading. It would also address COVID-related learning loss by funding a new temporary tutoring program that delivers high-dosage tutoring to students who have fallen furthest behind.
Evidence shows that high-dosage tutoring models are the most effective intervention to address learning loss and improve student test scores. We need to elevate student outcomes by providing targeted support where it is needed the most.
This bill has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee. I will keep you posted on its progress.
Stay tuned | Officially certified initiatives before the Legislature
I stand with the over 400,000 passionate Washingtonians who have rallied behind several initiatives. I want you to know that my House Republican colleagues and I hear you. We know you deserve to be heard through the committee process and for the Legislature to act. We will continue to fight to ensure this happens.
The Constitution of the State of Washington (Article II, Section 1(a) states: Such initiative measures, whether certified or provisionally certified, shall take precedence over all other measures in the legislature except appropriation bills and shall be either enacted or rejected without change or amendment by the legislature before the end of such regular session.
- Initiative 2113 (concerning police pursuits). This initiative seeks to amend the state’s police pursuit law to reinstate “the authority of police officers to engage in pursuit when there is a reasonable suspicion a person has violated the law.”
- Initiative 2117 (concerning carbon tax credit trading). This initiative seeks to repeal the cap-and-trade program, which has increased food, fuel, and energy prices.
- Initiative 2081 (concerning parental rights relating to children’s public school education.) This initiative aims to “allow parents and guardians of public school children to review instructional materials and inspect student records, including health and disciplinary records, upon request.”
Please reach out to my office to set up a meeting, ask questions, or discuss the issues that matter most to you. You can scan this QR code to easily access my contact information.
I also want to take this opportunity to share information and a list of resources with you. These will provide a detailed look at the work happening behind the scenes on your behalf – and on behalf of everyone in Washington state. I encourage you to bookmark the links below and share them with your friends and family.
- Visit my website | Representative Skyler Rude
- Visit the Washington State House Republicans website
- Follow Washington State House Republicans on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram
- Sign-up for The Current | The Washington State House Republican Caucus newsletter
- Sign-up for The Capitol Buzz | A daily summary of online news from across the state, highlighting policies, politics, and other issues that affect Washingtonians
- Bookmark The Ledger | Washington State House Republicans news aggregator
- Visit the Washington State Legislature website
- Bookmark House Committees | How to sign up to testify
If you have further questions or thoughts, please continue to reach out to my office.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve!