Action for Media Education has been hard at work in Washington. Ever since the groups’ pivotal work in getting a bill passed in 2016 – a bill which laid the foundation for our model bill – they have not rested, and now have secured a big chunk of funding for media literacy education in K-12 schools. Here’s their news item:
By Marilyn A. Cohen, Ph.D.
Director, NW Center for Media Literacy
We have some very good news! HB1365 passed and gave us some pretty wonderful things on our wish list:
New Funding for Media Literacy
Media literacy in Washington just got a big boost from our Legislature! Action for Media Education is very excited to announce that new legislation (HB1365) will provide funding to:
- Continue Washington’s media literacy grant program initiated in 2019 and administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Click here to see some of the resources that have been developed so far with these grant awards. Keep checking back since more new materials developed with 2020 awards will be uploaded soon.
- Provide grants for groups who wish to form professional learning communities. The purpose of these grants will be to encourage collaboration among a group of school districts or a group of educators from across one district who join together to share their challenges and successes while also exploring new strategies for integrating media literacy education into their classrooms.
- Support two regional media literacy conferences. This is a long-awaited development! Washington has not had funding to support a conference focused solely on media literacy for many years! The conferences will be offered in both eastern and western Washington.
In addition to all this good news, we’re celebrating a provision in HB1365 which specifies that this legislation will remain in effect for 10 years, until July 31, 2031!
The state appropriated nearly $400,000 for the grants over two years plus $50,000 for the two conferences. In the same legislation the state also provides nearly $2 million funding for devices to address access issues that became apparent during the pandemic, stating:
The legislature finds that students from low-income families face disproportionate barriers to accessing learning over the internet in their homes, partly because they do not have internet-accessible devices appropriate for learning. The legislature also recognizes that accessing learning over the internet requires more than just an internet-accessible device appropriate for learning. For students and their families to be truly connected, they need the digital literacy, digital skills, and digital support to use internet-accessible devices and to navigate the web in support of student learning.