Learning loss, student mental health crisis are lasting COVID closure impacts

“This is THE equity issue of our time.” – Sen. John Braun



Students have always suffered some learning loss from one school year to another as a result of summer break. Too much time is spent at the beginning of every year recovering from this learning loss. Now, however, our students are experiencing critical learning loss from remote instruction and school closures during the pandemic. We must address this. Republicans are sponsoring legislation to spread the school year more evenly throughout the calendar year — otherwise known as “year round school” — and to provide intensive tutoring to help catch kids up to grade level.

More than 30% of Washington’s kids failed the English assessment and more than 50% failed the math assessment. Low-income children and children of color are most affected. Washington is failing its school children. We must do better.

What’s more, we’re headed for McCleary 2.0 if the majority party continues to decrease the portion of the budget going to pay for basic education. After the bipartisan, bicameral solution to the McCleary decision, education funding accounted for more than 50% of the state’s budget. Democrats have lowered that to 43%. Their actions show that our paramount duty is slipping in their list of priorities. They are allowing school districts to rely to heavily again on local levies. We must correct the course and do right by Washington’s children.

We will fight to:

  • Expand local control in education
  • Protect school choice and parents’ rights
  • Implement strategies to recover from learning loss
  • Support legislation that improves student mental health


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