Public tells OSPI that counseling and mental heath are top priority for additional education investments

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Superintendent of Public
Instruction Chris Reykdal
In late April, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) opened a survey asking the public to determine how important they found additional public K–12 education investments.

In the six weeks the survey was open, more than 30,000 Washingtonians shared their priorities.

“We were blown away by the number of people who took time to share their feedback with us,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “It is a testament to how much the people of our state value their public K–12 schools.”

Participants included educators, parents and families, and community members. Identifying 15 different priorities, the survey asked participants to determine how important they found each one. 

Student support services, such as counseling, advising, and mental health, was selected as the number one priority.

Other highly ranked priorities include access to career and technical education and work-based learning opportunities, school safety enhancements, and effective buildings and facilities for learning.

“These results have made it even more clear how important it is for our schools to be able to address the mental health needs of our students,” Reykdal continued.

“We lose about two K–12 students in our state to suicide every week, and the rate continues to rise. We must do everything we can to equip our schools with the tools they need to fight this mental health crisis.”

OSPI will use the survey results to shape its budget requests before submitting them to Gov. Jay Inslee in mid-September.

Follow-up survey

Today, OSPI opened a follow-up survey asking participants to determine how much funding they would allocate to the top seven priorities identified in the first survey, given a set amount. 

The survey is available in English and Spanish and will remain open through September 12, 2018. Translations to other languages are available upon request.

“In the state of Washington, we have made incredible progress on funding basic education,” Reykdal said. 
“It will take more than ‘basic’ to close opportunity and achievement gaps between student groups, increase graduation rates, and ensure every student has access to a post-secondary pathway that meets their needs and interests.”


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