The All Students Count Act Interns at the University of Washington initiating the #ICount photo campaign in 2015. • Courtesy Photo

The following is a statement from The Southeast Asian Education Coalition (SEAeD):

March 10, 2016, the Washington State Legislature has passed House Bill 1541 and it now awaits the signature of Governor Inslee.

HB 1541 introduces strategies to close the educational opportunity gap based on the recommendations of the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Strategies mentioned in the bill tackles a broad range of issues that impact students, particularly students of color, including student disciplinary practices, methods of investing into family engagement, cultural competency training for educators and classified staff, analyzing disaggregated student data and more.

The Southeast Asian Education Coalition (SEAeD) lauds the bipartisan support of state officials in passing a milestone piece of legislation that is a leap towards closing the educational opportunity gap for Washington students.

“What is exciting about the passage of 1541 is that it was created by and advocated by communities of color. It is exciting that the legislature understand that to close the educational opportunity gap for communities of color, requires all of the components of 1541. To see data disaggregation complimented with the full range of strategies tackling cultural competency, school wrap-around services, and more is a huge step forward in the direction we need to go as a state if we are to support all students.” Said SEAeD council member, Tony Vo.

SEAeD is a grassroot coalition formed in 2011 to educate about the educational opportunity gaps that impacts the Southeast Asian American community and build support towards advancing the educational opportunities and outcomes for Southeast Asian American students.

Ay Saechao, SEAeD’s Co-Chair, says that the passage of HB 1541 “Addresses many challenges our Southeast Asian American students encounter in the education system. Previous data collected and reported has often lumped all Asian American students together, painting a monolithic picture of our experiences, and hiding the disparities of Southeast Asian American students. The bill will enhance methods to collect data of our community and provide greater information to tackle those issues.”

SEAeD supports the national iCount campaign, an effort that seeks to nationally standardize the collection and reporting of disaggregated student data.

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