Sound Off: Bills would help improve education system


As vice chair of the House Education Committee, I’ve been regularly meeting with students, teachers and administrators on every aspect of our education system.

We’ve collaborated on special education, early childhood education, career and technical education and much, much more.

I’ve spoken with low-income students who have jobs outside of school to support their family. Students with rigorous academic schedules tell me they simply don’t have time to explore job opportunities. And parents are worried about the lack of financial literacy among young adults.

After listening to these students and parents across our district, I wrote House Bill 1658, which provides financial education and allows high school credit for paid work experience. Our students will have the flexibility to pursue meaningful work experience, leadership skills and professional development after this legislation passes.

This bill is the result of weeks of collaboration with school leaders and advocates. I’m dedicated to making sure that financial literacy is part of every young adult’s life. We must give our children the financial knowledge and tools so that they are better prepared for life beyond high school.

As a veteran, I’m also dedicated to supporting our children of military families who face unique challenges from changes in duty stations and time away from parents. Gaps in curriculum, different graduation requirements and difficulty in socially and emotionally connecting with new peers are just some of these challenges.

In January, I introduced House Bill 1346, the Purple Star Award, which serves to remove those barriers to educational success. By designating schools as military friendly after they demonstrate a commitment to our students, we honor the sacrifices of our servicemembers.

I am proud to share that both bills passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. These bills are important in improving our exemplary school system for every child in every place.

Our children need the tools to succeed in school and life. I am honored to help create an even better education system that helps every child become the best person they can be.

Our public-school systems are vital to building a strong foundation for our children and our local economy. But there’s more work to be done. I want to hear from you – your ideas, your comments for what I can do better to fully support all our children.

You can see all the ways to reach me by visiting my website at – or you can call the toll-free hotline, 1-800-562-6000. I hope you take a moment to share your thoughts with me – because there’s nothing more important to me than hearing directly from you.

Clyde Shavers is a state representative for District 10, which includes Whidbey Island.