Whether it’s speaking up for kids in Olympia, challenging a district’s disciplinary policies or making sure a child with disabilities gets the right services, parents must sometimes tangle with bureaucrats. The polite word for that is advocacy and parents who want to get better at it might check out a free, day-long conference on Jan. 24 at…More
Topic: school funding
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Washington state’s preschool program is boosting achievement in math and reading in elementary school, but the state lags behind most of the country in signing children up, according to two recent reports.
Washington ranks 47th among states on several measures of preschool enrollment included in the annual “Quality Counts” report by Education Week, the national newsweekly.
In that report, released today, Washington earns a D grade because of lower-than-average enrollment in preschool overall and in the federal Head Start program, as well as a yawning enrollment gap between rich and poor.
For example, almost two-thirds of kids growing up in households bringing in $100,000 or more a year attend preschool in Washington. But only 4 in 10 kids from households making less than $20,000 are enrolled, according to Education Week.More
Rep. Chad Magendanz, the ranking Republican on the state House education committee, wants to pay teachers based on local market rates and likes the idea of sending a recent class-size initiative back to voters with a price tag — and a proposed source of funding.
Those are among the ideas the Issaquah lawmaker talked about during on a visit to The Seattle Times last week.
State lawmakers, he said, will be hard pressed to find enough money to cover what’s required under the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, as well as the new class-size initiative that voters passed in November. He also pushed for a host of teacher compensation reforms, not just local labor market adjustments but also better raises for teachers earlier in their careers.
Here are Magendanz’s thoughts on some big issues facing Washington education today:More
Parents at Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle are scrambling to raise $90,000 to prevent one of the school’s teachers from being transferred to nearby Fairmount Park Elementary, which reopened this fall.
A group of parents calling itself Friends of Gatewood had collected about $52,000 as of Tuesday. Seattle Public Schools gave organizers a fundraising deadline for Wednesday, Oct. 8, but the school has asked for an extension.
The fundraising effort began after an official headcount of students on Oct. 1 revealed the school had fallen short of its enrollment projections, and Fairmount Park ended up with more students than expected.More
By Joseph O’Sullivan
The Washington state Supreme Court is holding the Legislature in contempt for not making enough progress toward fully funding public education but, for now, won’t issue sanctions.
In an order Thursday on the McCleary case, the court said it will hold off on sanctions until at least the close of the 2015 legislative session. After that, action could be swift.
“On the date following adjournment of the 2015 session, if the State has not complied with the court’s order, the State shall file in the court a memorandum explaining why sanctions or other remedial measures should not be imposed,” reads the order, which was signed by Chief Justic Barbara Madsen.
Update| 6:28 p.m.: Earlier today, we wrote about two friend-of-the-court briefs concerning the upcoming state Supreme Court hearing on the McCleary decision. Then we found out that every single living former governor of Washington got together and filed their own brief. Yep, every single one. Their message is simple. Instead of punishing the state Legislature in September’s hearing,…More