School Funding Model Pivotal Issue In Budget Debate

School Funding Model Pivotal Issue In Budget Debate

Much of the focus of budget negotiations between state lawmakers that have forced the legislature into a special session are the competing views on...
Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

The Washington State Legislature this week approved legislation allowing school districts to build new facilities outside of their county’s “urban growth area” (UGA) under...
Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

House Democrats have released their proposed 2017-19 operating budget that includes over $7 billion in increased basic education spending over four years and a...
Senate Budget Rejects Inslee's Public Labor Agreements

Senate Budget Rejects Inslee’s Public Labor Agreements

Senate Republicans this week unveiled their proposed 2017-19 operating budget, which incorporates their basic education funding plan and mostly rejects Governor Jay Inslee’s $1.7...

K-12 Funding Plan Takes Alternative Path Toward McCleary Solution

A proposal by moderate Senate Democrats to fully fund basic education received both praise and concern from panel members and testifiers at a Monday,...
New K-12 Funding Plan Aims For Middle Ground

New K-12 Funding Plan Aims For Middle Ground

With the state House and Senate clearing two rival bills to fully fund basic education, eyes are turned toward a third alternative proposal set...
The Search For Compromise On K-12 Funding

The Search For Compromise On K-12 Funding

At a February 9 hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, lawmakers exchanged conflicting views on how to best fund K-12 education prior to an...
What Should A High School Diploma Mean?

What Should A High School Diploma Mean?

As state lawmakers begin to align around two competing visions for funding K-12 basic education, they're also considering changes to requirements for a Washington...
Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

At a hearing of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday, January 30, lawmakers further staked out their ground in what will be protracted...
Forecast: Inslee's '17-'19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

Forecast: Inslee’s ’17-’19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

According to a recent four-year outlook from Washington's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), Governor Jay Inslee's 2017-19 operating budget would take about $11.3 billion...
Reykdal Pushes For Better K-12 Results

Reykdal Pushes For Better K-12 Results

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal may prove a force to be reckoned with, as state lawmakers look to address funding inequities -...
State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

Merging two of Washington State’s eight public employee pension systems could save taxpayers almost $2 billion over the next 25 years, without reducing pension...
State House Leaders Seek Middle Ground

State House Leaders Seek Middle Ground

Governor Jay Inslee wasn't the only one sounding off on the state of the state last week. The first day of the legislative session,...
Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Washington state lawmakers are again trying to help overcrowded school districts serve students with new facilities, which in some cases would have to be built...
K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It's Early Innings

K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It’s Early Innings

As the 2017 biennial budget session of the Washington legislature opened Monday, January 9, all eyes were on the Joint Education Funding Task Force. Under a law passed in 2016, it...
Lawmakers: K-12, Post-Secondary Role Key To Lift For Washington Manufacturing

Lawmakers: K-12, Post-Secondary Role Key To Lift For Washington Manufacturing

Manufacturing employers in Washington and nationally are at a tricky juncture. Although new opportunities for growth such as carbon fiber product development are gaining...
Third Wave Of Washington Charter Schools Eyed

Third Wave Of Washington Charter Schools Eyed

Opening and running a charter school isn’t for the faint of heart, but in Washington their ranks will grow this year with three more starting...
Early Battle Lines Drawn On School Funding

Early Battle Lines Drawn On School Funding

Comments by State Sen. John Braun (R-20) at a recent Education Funding Task Force meeting suggest a possible push for evidence-based decision-making to ensure Washington's...

Lawmakers: Inslee’s New Taxes Won’t Fly

Washington state's major employers and several key lawmakers are warning that $4.4 billion in new taxes under Governor Jay Inslee’s 2017-19 budget would threaten Washington's economic recovery. If approved as...

Stage Set For Two State Budget Battles

The Washington legislature already faces a projected $2.6 billion deficit for the 2019-21 biennial budget, as it digs in this coming January to fashion...

Bottom-Up Rumblings On Washington Taxes

Turning heads statewide recently was the unanimous decision by the seven-member City of Spokane Valley to enact a new hurdle for that body to...

Making K-12 Investments Count, In Washington

Washington has pumped $5 billion more into K-12 basic education since the State Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary ruling mandated that lawmakers step up. The state's biennial K-12 operating funding has grown from $13.4 billion to...
Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Nearly 60 percent of Washington state public school fourth-graders don't reach the "proficient" level in science, nor do slightly more than 60 percent of...
A Different Path To Success For Washington State High-Schoolers: Career And Tech Ed

A Different Path To Success For Washington State High-Schoolers: Career And Tech Ed

A group of high school students armed with flashlights and protective glasses peer into a car hood, reaching in to make adjustments. Nearby, another...
Tax-Happy Washington State Supreme Court Called Out On K-12 Education Funding

Tax-Happy Washington State Supreme Court Called Out On K-12 Education Funding

State Rep. Matt Manweller (R-13) is reading the tea leaves on court-mandated hikes in the state's share of K-12 basic education funding, and he’s...

Seattle Mom Urges NAACP To Reconsider

A Washington state charter school mother from West Seattle is one of six signatories on a special letter from a national advocacy group to...
Bryant, Inslee Differ On Education, Taxes, and Carbon Cap Rule

Bryant, Inslee Differ On Education, Taxes, and Carbon Cap Rule

In a debate hosted by Seattle University this week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Bill Bryant outlined disparate visions for the...
Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Representatives of Washington cities, counties, schools and citizens groups packed a committee meeting room in Olympia this week to urge that lawmakers amend the...
Franz Shifts Message On State Timber Sales

Franz Shifts On State Timber Sales

In a debate hosted by the Association of Washington Business at Suncadia last week between the general election contestants for Washington Public Land Commissioner, Democrat...
Cracking The Code To More K-12 Computer Science In Washington State

Cracking The Code To More K-12 Computer Science In Washington State

Demand for computer science jobs in Washington is three times greater than for all other jobs combined. Average starting pay in the state is...
Finding A Fix For The Differences Between Washington School Districts

Finding A Fix For The Differences Between Washington School Districts

As in other states, employers in Washington underscore their vital stake in K-12 and higher education. Workers who can think, speak, write, and compute...
Litzow-Wellman Matchup Key To Senate Control, Education, And Taxes

Litzow-Wellman Matchup Key To State Senate Control, Education, And Taxes

The highly competitive Washington State Senate contest for the 41st District seat between incumbent Republican Steve Litzow and Democratic challenger Lisa Wellman is a...
School Choice For All, One Step At A Time

School Choice For All, One Step At A Time

For years, Seattle-area parents with enough money have been able to send their children to private and parochial schools, paying anywhere from $5,000 to...
Data Viz: Washington, U.S. 4th-Graders Not "Proficient" In Math Or Reading

Washington, U.S. 4th-Graders Not “Proficient” In Math Or Reading

Neither Washington state nor U.S. 4th-graders on the whole are proficient in math or reading according to five-year average scores in the long-established, widely-used...
Attacks On Charter Schools Are Backfiring

Attacks On Charter Schools Are Backfiring

Despite the second concerted legal attack on Washington charter schools in as many years, educators, parents and students are preparing for the new school...
Washington Charter Schools Unfazed By Latest Legal Attack; Growth Is On Track

Washington Charter Schools Unfazed By Latest Legal Attack; Growth Is On Track

Operators of current Washington state charter schools and new ones set to open in 2017 say a new lawsuit by charter opponents is not...
Pierce Schools Take Aim At Growth Rule

Pierce Schools Take Aim At Growth Rule

Five school districts have filed a lawsuit against Pierce County to get around a state Growth Management Hearings Board ruling. They say it deprives...
Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has filed a lawsuit he hopes will spur the legislature to assume financial responsibility for basic...
What Makes Teachers Stay, Or Leave?

What Makes Teachers Stay, Or Leave?

How to improve teacher retention could be among the recommendations to the legislature for next year from Washington state's new Joint Education Funding Task...
Washington's Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington’s Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington state's maritime industries are more of an economic powerhouse than you probably imagined. According to a report from the Economic Development Council of...

Washington School Districts And Charter Schools Can Be Partners, Not Enemies

As the debate continues to rage over public charter schools in Washington, traditional public schools and many of their supporters have squared off in...
Lens Readers Argue For Charter Schools

Lens Readers Argue For Charter Schools

As we reported here at Lens Friday night, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has let stand a bill approved by the legislature in the recently-concluded...
Washington Charter School Rescue Bill Will Stand

Charter Schools Rescue Bill Will Stand

Governor Jay Inslee announced Friday he’ll let a bill reinstating charter schools become law without his signature. It’s the first time a governor has done...
Budget Set - Now Real Work Starts

Budget Set – Now Real Work Starts

After a 19-day special session the state legislature approved a supplemental operating budget that despite new spending preserves the four-year balanced budget and includes...
Education Funding Task Force Faces Tough Test

Education Funding Task Force Faces Tough Test

Figuring out how to adequately fund Washington state K-12 public education in time for a court-imposed 2018 deadline will be no easy job for...
Overtime Session Foreshadows An Even Bigger Budget Challenge In 2017

Overtime Session Foreshadows An Even Bigger Budget Challenge In 2017

As the state Legislature heads into a special session to conclude negotiations on mid-course adjustments to the $38 billion 2015-2017 state budget, some lawmakers...
i-Partisan Backing Was Key To Charter Schools Rescue Approved In State House

Bi-Partisan Backing Was Key To Charter Schools Rescue Approved In State House

With 10 Democrats joining the minority of 48 Republicans, the Washington State House of Representatives voted 58 to 39 Wednesday night to pass a...
Washington State's Teacher Training Practices Don't Make The Grade

Washington State’s Teacher Training Practices Don’t Make The Grade

Washington state's teacher training practices barely get a passing grade from a national education reform and research group. The National Council on Teacher Quality gave...
A "Fail" For Washington On At-Risk K-12 Students; But There Are Fixes

A “Fail” For Washington On At-Risk K-12 Students; But There Are Fixes

The national average for high school graduation is at an all-time high of 82 percent. But, notes The Washington Roundtable in a new update...
Voices Rise For Charter Schools Fix In Washington, But Time Running Short

Voices Rise For Charter Schools Fix In Washington, But Time Running Short

The Washington State House of Representatives continues to deliberate whether or not to rescue the 1,000-plus students in voter-approved public charter schools from a...
Advocates: Charter School Solution Vital

Advocates: Charter School Solution Vital

As the state legislature nears the end of session with no solution yet on a charter school funding fix, more than 1,100 students in...
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