Topic: Rich Wood
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April 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM
OLYMPIA — The Washington Education Association has apologized to state Sen. Steve Hobbs after the teacher of one of Hobbs’ sons left a negative flier at the senator’s house.
The flier accused Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, of “ignoring his duty to reduce our kids’ crowded classrooms” and urged residents to contact him.
A group of teachers knocked on more than 1,000 doors in Hobbs’ district, talking to residents and distributing the flier, said union spokesman Rich Wood. Those doors included Hobbs’, and the teacher of his son knew the senator lived there, Wood said.
The union has been targeting Hobbs in recent weeks because he voted with a mostly-Republican coalition for a set of bills that would introduce more accountability and reliance on test scores into schools. The union believes lawmakers should be focusing on responding to a state Supreme Court order to lower class sizes and increase school funding.
But in a voicemail left for Hobbs, the union apologized.
Hobbs then sent out a recording of the voicemail to reporters.
“I accept their apology in the hope that this is the start of a new era of cooperation between us,” Hobbs said in an accompanying statement. “We don’t see eye to eye on every aspect of education, but our fundamental goal is the same –- we both believe we must fully fund education in our state.”
April 2, 2013 at 4:54 PM
A group pushing for changes in education has commissioned a poll showing public backing for moves it supports — a finding quickly rejected by opponents.
For example, the poll found that 66 percent of Washington state voters support giving an A-F letter grade to schools “based on how well students are learning.” Only 29 percent opposed the idea.
That concept passed the state Senate last month but hasn’t gotten a committee vote in the state House.
Another finding — important as the Senate and House prepare to release their budgets — was that voters split 49 percent to 46 percent on whether to increase taxes to give more money to education.
The poll of 402 residents, conducted last week by Strategies 360, is scheduled to be released Wednesday by Stand for Children. That organization, which supports letter grading and increased funding, paid for the poll.
“It’s clear that voters want both funding and improvements and accountability measures,” said Anne Martens, a spokeswoman for the group.
A spokesman for the state teachers union, which opposes grades but supports increased funding, said he’s “not sure how much credence to put in polling from groups that have a clear agenda.” The spokesman, Rich Wood added that “Every teacher, and I think, every parent who has a kid in school knows that overcrowded classes are the biggest problem facing our schools.”
Here’s a breakdown of the state budget and school-funding challenges, as reported by Seattle Times staff. And, ask, how would you pay for education and what choices would you make to balance the state budget? Build your budget here.
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