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...
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...
Auditor: Charter schools too new gauge effectiveness

Auditor: Charter schools too new to gauge effectiveness

Washington state charter schools are still too new to determine how effective they are at educating students in their classrooms, according to a new...
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...
Legislature revises graduation requirements

Legislature revises graduation requirements

The Washington legislature has overwhelmingly approved a bill that eliminates certain high school graduation requirements regarding state assessments. Supporters say it will encourage stronger...
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...
High court upholds charter schools

High court upholds charter schools

After three years of legal wrangling, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that charter schools do not violate the state constitution and can...
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...
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...

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,...
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...
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...
Navigating a post-McCleary classroom

Navigating a post-McCleary classroom

After six years and $9.5 billion in new spending, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled last week that the state legislature was finally in...
Washington high court still unsatisfied with education spending

Washington high court still unsatisfied with education spending

When asked how much money is enough, industrialist John Rockefeller replied: "Just a little bit more." That seemed to be the Washington State Supreme...
The hidden cost of K-12 pay raises

The hidden cost of K-12 pay raises

While local school districts struggle to find ways to pay for recently approved teacher salary increases, the full cost to Washington taxpayers is still...
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...
sharpened pencils

Picking Peter’s pocket to pay Paul: Lazy McCleary ‘fix’ leaves critical infrastructure projects out...

Old Mother Hubbard Went to the cupboard, To give the poor dog a bone; But when she got there The cupboard was bare, And so the poor dog had...
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...
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...

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...
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...
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 -...

Fixing School Siting: Round Three

State lawmakers are taking a second crack at a statewide problem school districts face while looking for appropriate sites for new facilities after Governor...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

Secretary of Education DeVos urges school choice in K-12

At Washington Policy Center’s (WPC) annual dinner, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos addressed nearly 1,500 business leaders, elected officials and young professionals about the power...
Attacking the gap: the bridge from class to career

Attacking the gap: the bridge from class to career

After years spent mired in the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and battling over education funding, the legislature is now uniquely aligned around one major...
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...
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...
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...

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...
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...
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,...
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...
K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal plans to submit an agency requested bill calling for a capital gains income tax to help pay for...
Making schools start on time

Making schools start on time

The first day of school for the 2018-19  academic year has been marked by numerous teacher strikes throughout the state over proposed raises demanded...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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...
Employer helps intern with equipment

Career readiness bill aims to fill skill gaps

Academic representatives and employers alike are praising a proposal they say would help prepare more of Washington’s youth for the workforce and fill skilled...
Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowding

Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowding

Tom Seigel has a problem. As Superintendent of the Bethel School District in Pierce County, he's got three high schools bursting at the seams...

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