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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: school funding

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

January 20, 2015 at 5:00 AM

On the agenda: free conference to help parents speak up for kids

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…

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Comments | Topics: parents, school funding, special education

January 8, 2015 at 5:00 AM

Washington’s preschool program has good results, low participation

From left, preschoolers Emily Cortes-Gonzalez, Daisy Rojas-Pineda and Paloma Castro converse together during an open-ended activity session at the Denise Louie Education Center in the Beacon Hill. Photo by  Marcus Yam / 2014.

Seattle preschoolers interact with each other during an open-ended activity session at the Denise Louie Education Center in the Beacon Hill. Photo by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times 2014.

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.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: early learning, preschool, school funding

December 15, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Base teacher pay on local market rates? Issaquah lawmaker says yes

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.

Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah

Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah

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:

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Chad Magendanz, Initiative 1351, McCleary

October 8, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Poll: Should parents be able to pay for teachers’ salaries?

School Board member Marty McLaren, left, meets Tuesday with parents from Gatewood Elementary School in West Seattle who have organized to raise money to prevent one of their teachers from being transferred. Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times.

School Board member Marty McLaren, left, meets Tuesday with parents from Gatewood Elementary School in West Seattle who have organized to raise money to prevent one of their teachers from being transferred. Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times.

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.

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Comments | More in News, Poll, Your voices | Topics: Fairmount Park Elementary, Gatewood Elementary, school funding

September 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Supreme Court finds Legislature in contempt on education funding

By Joseph O’Sullivan

03_OlyThe 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.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: McCleary, school funding

August 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Former governors urge court to allow more time in McCleary case

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,…

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Comments | Topics: McCleary decision, school funding