Celebrating and reflecting on the 2024 legislative session

The 2024 legislative session was fast and furious. Let’s take a moment to highlight and celebrate the work that went into a great session.  Our School’s Out Washington (SOWA) policy and advocacy team started preparing for the session in 2023. The Youth Development Strategy Table (YDST) is led by two committees. The Leadership Committee approves the legislative agenda and oversees the strategic activities of the coalition. The Legislative Committee sets the legislative priorities and strategies. During the summer of 2023, the two committees decided to put forward a $5 million youth development grant proviso. After meeting with key policymakers and … [ ]

2024 Legislative Session

This legislative session, we are asking the legislature for a budget proviso to allocate funding in the 2024 budget, administered through the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), for a grant program that supports the creation, expansion and quality improvement of community-based youth development programs that contribute to young people’s health, wealth, and well-being. 

Action alert: Funding earmarked for youth development is in jeopardy!

For several years, OSPI has channeled federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to youth development through the Afterschool, Summer Program Fund, and Community-Based Organization (CBO) grants. Currently, more than 130 nonprofits and public agencies utilize this funding for afterschool and summer programs, mentoring, wrap-around services, and more.    Last week we learned that the  legislature is proposing to fund additional CBO and afterschool programs using these same ESSER funds.  However, these ESSER dollars have already been obligated by OSPI and are currently in contracts. This includes many youth development providers that received funding through the Community-Based Organization (CBO) … [ ]

2023 legislative session update: A setback and forward momentum

2023 legislative session update: A setback and forward momentum Our two bills (Senate Bill 5601 and House Bill 1386) passed out of their policy committees but did not receive a vote in their respective budget committees. In addition to $50M in grants for program providers, our ask included small but critical, state infrastructure investment to help the field deepen and sustain equitable outcomes for our youth. While we experienced overwhelming engagement from both lawmakers and community advocates, we now understand that budget constraints stemming from a decrease in state revenue collections resulted in the end of our bills this session. … [ ]