Democrats call, again, for action on ‘levy cliff’

Some school districts may have to send out pink slips if the state legislature doesn’t pass the Democrats’ “levy cliff” bill, argued Democratic leadership at their weekly press conference Tuesday. “I’m hearing from superintendents too,” said Rep. Kristine Lytton, Anacortes, at the press conference. “They are trying to dig into the complexity of the senate...Read More

GOP leaders defend education funding plan, criticize Democrats’ plan

After facing criticism for their budget plan, Republican leaders defended their education funding proposal Monday at a press conference, and made their own criticisms of the Democrat’s levy cliff bill. Washington GOP legislators’ plan is to implement something of a “levy swap” to fund education in Washington. Background Senate Republicans announced their plan Jan. 27...Read More

Democrats criticize GOP education funding bill, call for move on ‘levy cliff’

Democrats expect to move an education funding plan, sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, onto the Senate Floor Thursday or early next week, said House Democratic Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, Covington, at Democratic Leadership’s weekly press conference Tuesday. Mullet offers a middle road Mullet’s plan has been positioned as a moderate alternative to the suggested...Read More

Washington AG announces lawsuit against student loan servicer Navient

Three government officials announced lawsuits against the student loan servicer, Navient (formerly known as Sallie Mae), and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is one of them. “Our lawsuit alleges that while still operating as Sallie Mae, Navient engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in its student loans business, including predatory loans to students attending for-profit...Read More

How would Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed carbon tax work?

A presentation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon tax proposal was met with a mix of skepticism and praise at the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications committee work session Thursday. The tax would amount to $25 per ton of fossil fuels (which could add about 25 cents per gallon of gas at the pump) and increase...Read More

Gov. Jay Inslee makes push for his budget plan, GOP not on board

Gov. Jay Inslee largely focused on his proposed budget for the 2017 State of the State. Though he touched on the economy, mental health care and national politics, most of the speech was centered on how he wants to use tax increases (including a new carbon tax, a capital gains tax and a hike on...Read More

What do Washington voters want state lawmakers to focus on in 2017?

Education is top of the list on Washington voter’s priorities for state lawmakers this year, according to a release from The Elway Poll, a nonpartisan polling organization based in the Northwest. Forty-five percent of respondents said education was the “most important” issue for lawmakers. That makes it the third year in a row it ranked as...Read More

Policies of Zero-Tolerance for Bullying Don’t Work, Report Says

Zero-tolerance policies are ineffective in combating bullying, an independent government advisory group says in urging schools to take a more preventative approach that includes teaching tolerance to address this “serious public health problem.”...Read More

Lawmakers Take Next Steps Toward Education Funding Reform

Lawmakers met Wednesday to talk about the next steps toward answering the Washington Supreme Court's McCleary decision on education funding. A bi-partisan committee met to finalize a report to the Supreme Court about the Legislature's progress this year. The Education Funding Task Force learned in a presentation from the Office of Program Research that about 20 percent or $13,500 of the average state teacher salary is paid by money that is not directly allocated by the state for teacher salaries. The gap for administrative salaries is much bigger, almost 50 percent at $54,422....Read More

State Officials Release Annual School Achievement Index after Lowering Learning Standards for English and Math

The results come after the State Board of Education’s decision last year to lower learning standards in English and math for students in public schools. Nearly half of Washington public schools, 926 schools (46%) received a D ranking or lower. 827 schools, (41%) received a B or C ranking. Only 96 schools (5%) received an A ranking...Read More