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August 6 Primary Election Candidate Profiles

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Chris Reykdal

I grew up the youngest of eight children, and it was my public education that gave me a chance to break the cycle of poverty. I went on to be the first in my family to go straight to college. I put myself through college with multiple jobs, scholarships, grants, and student loans. It led me to teaching, graduate school, higher education administration, and service in the Washington State Legislature and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The truth is, nobody does this alone! I am the benefactor of a state and a community that was committed to giving me opportunity. That is the very definition of public education – the great equalizer. I have dedicated my entire life to public education so that I can break down barriers for every child.

Here are just a few things we have achieved since I was elected as your State Superintendent:

● Our graduation rates are at an all-time high, with the fastest gains coming from native youth, students with disabilities, and low-income students;

● Two-thirds of our high school students take at least one college course while in high school and a record number of our students are graduating high school with an Associate's Degree;

● We've ensured free school meals to over 300,000 additional students;

● We are at an all-time high in the percent of kids who are kindergarten ready;

● We built regional mental health networks for students, and youth anxiety and suicide is declining in Washington state;

● We now have Career and Technical Education (CTE) graduation pathways and 52% of our graduates have taken two or more CTE courses;

● We have doubled the number of our students in acceleration programs;

● We brought back civics as a graduation requirement;

● We raised average educator salaries by 39%;

● College remediation rates are at an all-time low;

● We are a top 15 state in the nation when it comes to the National Assessment of Education Progress;

● We are diversifying our educator workforce at the fastest pace in our state's history and are introducing teacher residencies and teacher apprenticeships;

● A record high 50,000+ students are engaged in dual language learning as early as kindergarten, including tribal languages; and

● We have increased funding to support students with disabilities to a record high, and we have the highest number of students with disabilities learning in general education classrooms.

I'd be honored to earn your support so we can achieve even more for Washington students! Over the next four years, my primary goals are as follows:

● We must ensure that our public schools remain PUBLIC;

● We must, once again, work with the Legislature to fully fund our schools;

● We must rewrite our learning standards to substantially engage students in media/digital/information literacy. Our students' mental health is absolutely a function of getting out in front of the damaging impacts of social media and other forms of anxiety producing media; and

● We must maintain our focus in all policy and budget matters on closing opportunity gaps!

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