EducationRepresentative Drew Hansen has two young children in public school, so he is a strong supporter of our state’s public school system.  He has championed Washington’s expansion of computer science education as the prime sponsor of two landmark computer science education bills (HB 1472 and HB 1813), which the Seattle Times and the Spokane Spokesman-Review praised in editorials here, here, and here.  Before entering the Legislature, Representative Hansen served on the steering committee of several school levy campaigns so we could keep funding our public schools.  Representative Hansen’s legislative accomplishments on education include:

  • Leading Washington’s expansion of computer science education. The  Seattle Times singled out Hansen’s bill to expand AP computer science as one of the “key education reforms” of the legislative session (Seattle Times, Apr. 24, 2013).  Republican Senator Bruce Dammeier praised Hansen’s bill on the Senate floor, saying: “Because of this bill, students will be prepared for good jobs.”  (quoted in North Kitsap Herald, Apr. 19, 2013).  And CEOs of Washington’s leading technology companies called on the Legislature to enact HB 1813, another Hansen computer science education bill, by publishing a full-page open letter in the Seattle Times.  The Puget Sound Business Journal wrote: Hey state reps: Every tech company in Washington wants you to pass this bill. (Puget Sound Business Journal, Mar. 5, 2015)
  • Securing funding for new college counsellors and advisers at Bremerton High School through the College Success Foundation, a program that has boosted high school graduation rates to 98% among program participants in other locations.  As the Kitsap Sun wrote: “Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island and chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, in January asked College Success Foundation to come up with a proposal to partner with Bremerton School District. The foundation, based in Issaquah, provides counselors and support to help raise scholarships in districts with high numbers of disadvantaged students. . . . ‘We want every kid in Bremerton to go to college, whether that’s a short-term welding certificate program at a community college or the computer science department at the University of Washington,’ Hansen said. ‘This funding will help more of our Bremerton kids start thinking about college at an early age and making concrete plans for how to get there.’”
  • Supporting closing tax loopholes to fund our schools.
  • Supporting legislation to encourage the use of “open source” curriculum in public schools so we can save some of the $65 million the state spends each year on textbooks.
  • Listening to local educators and then advocating successfully for two critical programs for Kitsap County schools: (1) continued funding for FIRST Robotics and Career and Technical Education (CTE) High-Demand Grants, and (2) STEM Career Course Grants, which an amendment supported by Representative Hansen expanded so Kitsap County schools would be eligible
  • Co-sponsoring legislation to provide grants to high schools and skill centers to prepare students with skills for careers in aerospace assembly and manufacturing