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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: republicans

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January 8, 2015 at 10:15 AM

Replay: Video chat on how to meet our state’s transportation needs

Rep. Judy Clibborn Sen. Curtis King Charles Knutson Bob Pishue Readers of Monday’s Opinion page heard from state Sen. Curtis King and Rep. Judy Clibborn, each with their own perspective on statewide transportation needs and how best to pay a multi-billion dollar price tag. King and Clibborn chair the Senate and House transportation committees, respectively. At…


Comments | More in Live chats | Topics: democrats, republicans, transportation

October 24, 2013 at 7:30 AM

The origins of charter schools offer insight for Washington state

photo (7)UPDATED:

Call Embert Reichgott Junge the mother of all charter schools and you’re not far off the mark. The Democrat was in the Minnesota state Senate in the early 1990s and helped write and pass the nation’s first charter school law. That legislative feat led to the expansion of charters across the country.

Washington state was one of the last states to adopt a law allowing charters and with the news this week that 23 organizations have advised the state Charter School Commission of their interest opening a school here, it seemed useful to look at where charters have been to get a gauge on where this state is going. Junge was in Seattle this week speaking with pro-education reform groups and pushing  “Zero Chance of Passage,” her account of the bipartisan effort to pass the first charter school law.

Talking with Junge, one thing quickly becomes apparent. The political history of charter schools is sorely misunderstood. The non-traditional public schools have been cast by opponents as a tool used by the political right to privatize education. The truth is charter schools grew out of the political center. The victory in Minnesota was led by moderates. There was Junge but also the state’s Democratic governor, Rudy Perpich; Albert Shanker, then president of the American Federation of Teachers; and civic leaders looking to improve public schools. Everyone was drawn to charters for different reasons. Perpich wanted to expand school choice. Shanker and other union leaders were drawn to charter schools’ promise of autonomy which they interpreted as allowing teachers more control over school decisions. Now fast forward 20 years later.


Comments | Topics: 3to23, charter schools, children

October 21, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Another school shooting shifts the conversation to gun control, but for how long?

Matt Harrington/Op Art UPDATE: One of the two people killed in the Nevada middle school shooting was a teacher who stepped in to protect his students. This Huffington Post story has the details. The teacher’s death may renew ridiculous suggestions by the National Rifle Association that teachers should be allowed to carry a gun or at least have one…


Comments | Topics: barack obama, children, democrats

October 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Catch mental health problems early

  Donna Grethen/Op-Art In the vast arena of public education, the part least understood or addressed well is mental health. Think about it. Schools remain vigilant about ensuring students perform well academically. Immunizations are legally required and periodic check-ups for hearing and vision remain even as school systems have cut back in many areas. These things are appropriate because they directly impact students in the classroom. Mental…


Comments | Topics: barack obama, children, congress

October 11, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Recruit new Republican talent for Congress

Jennifer Kohnke/Op Art The GOP can do better. The party will be haunted by the legacy of a pointless shutdown of the federal government, and the looming threat of the first-ever default on U.S. government debt. Republicans need to look at their bench, and mount challenges to that timid, stodgy crew snugly in place on Capitol Hill. More

Comments | Topics: congress, default, gop

October 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Civil Disagreement: Obamacare and the government shutdown

Civil Disagreement is an occasional feature of the Seattle Times editorial board. Here Bruce Ramsey and Lynne K. Varner offer dramatically different takes on the federal budget battle and the government shutdown. This interactive includes a poll about American sentiment toward the political standoff. [do action=”custom_iframe” url=”” width=”630″ height=”500″ scrolling=””/]


Comments | More in Civil Disagreement, Pro/con | Topics: 2013 elections, Affordable Care Act, barack obama

September 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM

House Republicans’ effort to woo Latinos misses the mark

Watch the one-minute video below released by House Republicans this week and tell me what’s missing:

Notice there’s zero mention of immigration reform? Offering lip service to Latinos for their contributions to America, then refusing to address one of this fast-growing voting bloc’s chief issues makes House Republicans look out of touch.

In the Times editorial board’s Thursday editorial, we argue for three of four Washington Republican congressional members — U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane, Doc Hastings of Pasco and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Camas — to rally behind a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a path to citizenship.


Comments | Topics: cathy mcmorris rodgers, congress, doc hastings

August 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Seattle Central Community College should get Beacon Hill landmark PacMed

The choice of turning the old PacMed Center into apartments or classrooms is expected to be made Tuesday. The Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority, the public entity that owns the sprawling art deco-style building atop Beacon Hill, is holding a public meeting Tuesday starting at 6 . Afterward, the authority’s governing council is expected to vote on whether to lease the Pacific Tower  building to Seattle Central Community College or to a…


Comments | Topics: democrats, Education, health care

June 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Legislature’s budget must be good for higher education

As the state House and Senate near a budget deal (we all hope), lawmakers are reminded to make 20040912opart-fsure higher education has enough money.

This is not the year for cuts. At a minimum, the budget must include maintenance-level funding that allows our public universities and community and technical colleges to pay for current programs and obligations.

Budget proposals from the Democratic House and the Republican-led Senate Majority Coalition include maintenance-level funding. Both budgets also invest more money in the State Need Grant.

But in letters to key lawmakers this week, education leaders from both the state’s four-year and two-year systems expressed serious concerns about the budget prospects.


Comments | Topics: 3to23, children, democrats

April 30, 2013 at 6:30 AM

PBS documentary forces unflinching look at migrant deaths in the Arizona desert

Calls for comprehensive immigration reform center around the people who left other countries and made it here. But what of those who set out to come here but never made it?

Since 1998, more than 2,000 dead bodies have been found in Arizona’s Sonora Desert. They are the remains of migrants braving the desert’s hellish temperatures to cross into the U.S.  Last night, PBS aired   The Undocumented, a powerful documentary film that follows Marcos Hernandez as he searches for his father,Francisco, who vanished while walking through the Sonora.

The documentary’s power lies in gritty interviews, haunting music and spare narration. The dead lie unidentified in morgues but filmmaker Marco Williams makes sure they do not go unremarked upon.

In the U.S. the immigration debate takes on academic tones thick with numbers and legal statuses.


Comments | Topics: congress, Documentary, immigration reform

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