Lfinne

Latest McCleary Order: Supreme Court judges propose state education budgets for 2014-2018

January 9, 2014 in Blog

                Today, Washington’s supreme court judges issued a court order that proposes education budgets for the school years 2014-18.  The judges gave only passing recognition to lawmakers and taxpayers for already adding $1.6 billion to public school spending, for a total of $15.2 billion, compared to the last state education budget. 

Washington Post under-reports Washington state teacher salaries

December 17, 2013 in Blog

Two days ago the Washington Post published a map of the states showing average teacher pay in the 50 states. The map reports teachers in Washington state receive an average estimated salary of only $53,571.   

McCleary Decision is not about spending money, but about improving schools, say Senate leaders

December 13, 2013 in Blog

On Tuesday, the Majority Coalition Caucus held a press conference to announce their plans for the 2014 Legislative Session.  When a reporter asked what plan A is for the Majority Coalition Caucus, Senator Tom said:

Judge Rietschel approves charter school law

December 12, 2013 in Blog

This morning Judge Jean Rietschel upheld Initiative 1240, the voters’ charter school law, clearing the way for Washington’s first charter schools to open next fall.  Her ruling rejects claims made by Washington Education Association, the state teachers union, and the League of Women Voters, that Initiative 1240 violates the state constitution.

Two Superintendents receive top salaries, and complain about money

December 6, 2013 in Blog

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, while the rest of us were giving thanks, two Tacoma-area two school superintendents, Patti Banks of University Place and Frank Hewins of the Franklin Pierce School Districts, were complaining that taxpayers were not giving them enough money.  Their editorial complains they can't adequately educate the children entrusted to them because Tacoma-area families don't pay enough in taxes, compared to people in Seattle, which they say give school officials

New study describes how digital learning tools improve learning for children

November 27, 2013 in Blog

Yesterday Washington Policy Center released a new paper, "Review of Digital Learning in Private Schools and Public Charter Schools." This paper reviews 6 case studies of schools using new digital learning tools to ease teaching burdens, improve the management of school budgets, and most importantly, improve learning for students.  

Union demands threaten cuts to Seattle day care services for children

November 26, 2013 in Blog

Last week, in “Union directive a snag to universal preschool,” The Seattle Times reported that unions are using a City of Seattle daycare program to boost their dues-paying membership.  Outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn is requiring day care providers to give SEIU union organizers personal information about employees who work with children, including employee names and addresses. 

Informative article about charter schools

November 25, 2013 in Blog

Donna Blankenship has a good article describing the parent and community-based groups that are working to expand education opportunities for children by opening a charter school in Washington. You can read the article here.

Union leaders brag about Hawthorne Elementary, a school with charter-like independence

November 21, 2013 in Blog

Dennis Van Roekel, president of National Education Association union, visited Seattle’s Hawthorne Elementary School this week in recognition of the dramatic gains students have made since 2010, when Hawthorne become one of Seattle’s six Creative Approach schools.

Governor helps Boeing, but don’t school children deserve protection from union disputes too?

November 6, 2013 in Blog

Governor Inslee is clearly worried, as are many Washingtonians, about the power of union executives and their ability to disrupt our state’s aerospace sector. There is a very real danger that the threat of union action in the future could lead Boeing to locate 777x assembly in another state. 

Thirty-one parent and community groups seek approval to open charter schools in Washington

October 27, 2013 in Blog

Last week, Tuesday, October 22nd, was the preliminary deadline for parents, teachers, school principals and other community groups who wish to open a charter public school.  Because the required Notices of Intent had to be postmarked Tuesday, it wasn’t until Friday the state commission realized the full extent of the public’s pent-up interest.  By Friday, twenty-eight groups had filed notices with the state commission, and 3 additional groups had filed their notices with Spokane Public Schools.

TVW interview of Minnesota Senator who wrote nation's first charter school bill

October 24, 2013 in Blog

This week Ember Reichgott Junge, the Democratic Minnesota state senator who wrote the nation's first charter school bill, visited Seattle to share her charter school knowledge and experience. TVW's Anita Kissee conducts an informative interview of the Senator, which I've posted below.

Senator Reichgott Junge said that charter schools will give Washington children new, exciting learning opportunities.  She also said charter schools will benefit teachers, too, because these schools give teachers new opportunities to try creative approaches with their students.    

Charter school application deadline today

October 22, 2013 in Blog

Today, October 22nd, is a key deadline for parents and community leaders who wish to open a charter school under Washington’s voter-approved charter school law.  Charter schools are popular with parents because they allow local educators to adapt their learning program to meet children’s needs. Notices of Intent to submit an application are due today.  

20,000 parents march to defend charter schools in New York City

October 10, 2013 in Blog

Today’s WSJ column by Daniel Henninger reports that two days ago, on Tuesday, 20,000 African-American and Hispanic parents marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to New York City Hall.  This is a very large number of people to be marching on the City.  Why did they do this?  These parents marched to defend their charter schools from a new threat: the leading candidate for mayor of New York City, Democrat Bill de Blasio.  Mr. de Blasio is supported by the city’s teachers union.

Parent group hopes to open Sunnyside Charter School to serve disadvantaged students

October 9, 2013 in Blog

Last fall voters lifted the ban on charter schools, making Washington the 42nd state in the nation to provide a charter school choice to parents.  In approving Initiative 1240, voters passed one of the strongest charter school laws in the country.  Now that this law is being implemented, engaged parents hoping to open charter schools are emerging all over the state. One such group comes from Sunnyside, Washington, a small agricultural community in eastern Washington.