Here is what our donor community made possible in the 2021 – 2022 school year!…
Our advocacy work as members of the Washington Outdoor School Coalition (WOSC) has been focused on the goal of fully funding outdoor school experiences for every child in Washington.
Last year, the Washington Outdoor School Coalition (WOSC) successfully advocated for house bill 2078. The historic legislation established a statewide Outdoor School program that set aside upwards of $10 million for school districts to send students to outdoor schools like IslandWood. Since then, in the most recent legislative session, the WOSC secured $40 million in the Washington state biennial budget for outdoor education!
Over the next two years, this huge win will give 90,000 students across Washington access to overnight outdoor programs and outdoor day learning experiences for another 115,000 students. Students who have been historically underserved by science education are being prioritized. These communities will include, but are not limited to:
- Federally recognized tribes, including state-tribal education compact schools
- Migrant students
- Schools with high free and reduced-price lunch populations
- Rural and remote schools
- Students in alternative learning environments
- BIPOC students
- English language learner students
- Students receiving special education services
Megan Karch, IslandWood CEO and Co-Legislative Chair of the WOSC shared, “We – members of the WOSC and IslandWood’s peers at other environmental organizations – have been envisioning, working, and advocating towards Outdoor School for all Washington’s children for years. We are so thrilled that more children will get these critical outdoor learning experiences and so incredibly grateful to Governor Inslee and Senator Rolfes for their significant support in championing this effort.”
We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made, but this is just the beginning. The WOSC will continue advocating as the $40 million, while huge, doesn’t cover the cost for every child in Washington to experience outdoor learning. Yet. We’ll keep working until we get there!
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