WA Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal files for re-election
Jun 12, 2023, 4:02 PM
Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced his campaign for re-election Monday.
“Washington is recognized as one of the best states to raise a family, start a business, and thrive,” Reykdal said. “One of the reasons we rank so high is our outstanding public schools.”
He was first elected to the post in 2017. This is his second term as superintendent.
In his annual address last January, Reykdal said, “Despite having one of the fastest growing economies in America, the state’s investment in our public schools is on a troubling downward trend once again while the national average is increasing. I have put forward a package for legislative consideration that would support continued recovery and acceleration for our students and ensure our state is investing at least at the national average.”
In an interview with The Seattle Times, Reykdal was asked about one of his top priorities: Youth mental health concerns became increasingly prevalent and severe during the pandemic.
We are requiring districts to do social-emotional and behavioral health screeners (to assess how children are doing). We are like little cities in all these school districts. They are comprehensive in nature and they are designed to be that way. And for most kids, that’s the best place they can be. And that will do more to address the issue than anything else. That said, we don’t think there’s enough money for behavioral health. And we’re likely to use some of our discretionary federal funds to try to beef this up even more. Each school might not need a full-time school (psychologist) but when they need somebody, there’s got to be a phone number to call. Whether it’s a community-based provider, a county provider, or an educational service district. So we’re looking at some regional models to help that.
Reykdal has already been endorsed by Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Derek Kilmer, Senate Early Learning, and K-12 Education Chair Lisa Wellman, among others.
“The next four years, and beyond, need to focus on the transformational changes necessary for our children and grandchildren to live healthy, sustainable lives in the State of Washington,” Reykdal continued. “Our public schools are at the heart of that vision, and I will never stop fighting for the success of our students, our school employees, and our communities.”