Washington’s legislature convenes: Monica Stonier discusses higher education support

Monica Stonier, Washington State University Vancouver alumnus, recently took office in the 17th legislative district. As an educator, Stonier understands the importance of higher education, giving WSU Vancouver an ally.

Former Pacific Middle School educator and freshman legislator, Stonier said she is continually learning about the process while advocating for students in our state.

Given Stonier’s education background, her primary focus is providing expertise to the Education Committee. Stonier is a member of the legislature’s Education, Capital Budget and Technology and Economic Development committees.

Although she is not a member of the higher education committee, Stonier will be committed to higher education as well as primary education.

“Increasing access to state need grants, making sure we have adequate financial aid for anyone who qualifies and making sure that tuition costs are reasonable and predictable for families and kids to plan their higher education timelines and careers,” are the higher education bills Stonier said she would support.

Stonier’s teaching background was the primary motivating force behind her decision to run for office.

Rep. Monica Stonier of 17th Legislative District.

Rep. Monica Stonier of 17th Legislative District. Photo courtesy of housedemocrats.wa.gov.

“At the time when I was running, there were no current, active teachers in the legislature and that was a major problem for me. I have never worked in government relations before. My background is not in politics, but there is work to be done and I feel like I can be that person,” said Stonier.

Stonier has thus far introduced a bill to support prospective and established teachers in Washington. By creating online learning modules for teachers to prepare and receive training or credit, she hopes to bring extra resources to the learning environment. Stonier is also working to develop a program to help assist school districts in predicting the number of teachers they will need to hire each year.

“There are things that I am trying to work on as I am learning the job. I also have other bigger ideas that aren’t quite formulated yet,” said Stonier.

As the state legislature continues to work on developing the statewide budget, Stonier’s teaching and education background will be a voice and advocate for WSU Vancouver.

The 17th legislative district encompasses the area of Vancouver east of Highway 205, west of 164th Avenue and south of Highway 503, including Washington State University Vancouver. Stonier is one of three representatives for WSU Vancouver in the legislature.

For more information on 17th legislative district representatives and the 2013 legislative session, visit leg.wa.gov. More information about Representative Stonier and her initiatives can be found at housedemocrats.wa.gov/roster/rep-Monica-Stonier/.

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