State Rep. Pollet proud that legislature provided support for education

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Rep. Gerry Pollet D-46
By Evan Smith

State Rep. Gerry Pollet says that he is proud that the 2018 Legislature provided extra support for education – elementary and secondary education and for higher education.

Democrat Pollet sent this review of the 2018 legislative session April 1. The session had ended in early March:

“First and foremost, I'm pleased that we provided a billion dollars for our children's education in this coming school year, supporting our educators and providing urgently needed help for our school districts. This includes the important step to increase support for special education for the first time in decades. The step taken was smaller than I had worked for, but it will still allow districts to serve thousands of students.
“In addition to the funding, legislation I have championed since joining the Legislature was passed to ensure every kindergarten through second-grade student will be assessed for challenges that prevent them from reading, and recognizing letters or numbers associated with dyslexia (which affects one in five students).
“We also provided important property-tax relief for next year, which makes our tax system more fair while continuing to provide new funding for our schools.
“Increasing access to the opportunities of higher education regardless of family income or immigration status was a major focus of the session. We provided funding for thousands of additional students of modest means to receive State Need Grants, Opportunity and College-Bound scholarships. I am hopeful that this will help lay the ground to provide free community college for all qualified students who graduate from high school in our state or whom wish to return to school to improve their careers and families' opportunities.
“The Legislature also passed my bill providing first-in-the-nation protections for students of for-profit and on-line colleges and vocational schools, responding to predatory and deceptive practices leading to massive student-loan debts, while the Trump Administration goes in the opposite direction of decreasing protections for students.
“Where we fell short begins with not increasing the age to 21 to buy an assault weapon, or to bar sales of military assault weapons. Banning the sale of bump stocks was important, but not nearly enough.
“Speaking of increasing age to 21, we came very close to passing legislation to increase the age to buy cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vapor products. I will continue to work for this important public health protection which we know will prevent the early death of 8,000 current high school students.”

Pollet represents the 46th Legislative District, including Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle.

He is vice chairman of the Higher Education Committee in the House of Representatives, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and a member of the House Finance Committee.


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