President Obama has declared the week of May 5-11 as National Charter Schools Week. He called on communities to support charter schools and the students they serve. He described charter schools as “incubators of innovation” and models of reform for other schools. He also said this:
Yesterday, the nine-member charter school commission met in Bellevue for its second meeting. The commission is still getting organized. It has the important job of approving some of Washington state’s first charter public schools.
In the wake of last fall's voter-approved Initiative 1240, parent-led groups interested in opening charter schools in their communities are starting to emerge. Debbie Cafazzo at The News Tribune reports on parents' intentions to pursue charter school applications in their local Tacoma and Peninsula school districts.
Hello Washington Policy Center readers, I am Bob Pishue, and as the new WPC Center for Transportation director, I will be the eyes and ears on transportation policy going forward. I believe that a productive Washington needs freedom of movement, and that congestion relief should be a top priority in any transportation project or legislation. My goal is to keep government efficient and accountable, while informing the public of meaningful and impactful transportation policy.
The new nine-member state Charter School Commission held its first meeting on April 4th in Olympia. The commission has set up a website, here. Their meeting focused on reviewing essential laws and procedures. The agenda for the April 4 meeting is available here.
The sun is slowly arriving and the bees in my new beehives, as well as bees across the Northwest, will be happier for it. As they begin to pollinate flowers and orchards, however, they will face a number of challenges: Varroa mites, wasps, pesticides and loss of suitable bee pasture.
Austin Jenkins reports that last Friday, public school mom Jennifer Harjehausen, from Kent, drove to Olympia to testify at a public hearing. She told lawmakers that parents have to buy school supplies:
“We gave Sharpies to my kids’ teacher for Christmas," she said. "I mean come on. The PTA buys disinfectant for the computer lab. We have to provide our own trash can liners when we hold an event. That is crazy.”
With just four days to go in the 2013 Regular Session, lawmakers and the Governor are discussing the framework for the inevitable specials session(s). One difference this year from previous special sessions may be how tightly focused state officials' efforts and attention are.
A key transportation tax bill, HB 1954 "Transportation revenue," was voted out of House committee today. That in itself is not remarkable. What is concerning is the adoption in committee of Rep. Habib's (D-48th) Amendment #4. The amendment would give the Secretary of Transportation the authority to raise the state gas tax by up to three cents a gallon.
Yesterday was Earth Day and Governor Inslee and Mayor McGinn attended the opening of the Bullitt Center, billed as the "greenest" building on the planet. One of the selling points is that it creates more energy than it uses. But, is it really green?
Last week I attended a fascinating presentation sponsored by the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the UW - a story about saving a Catholic school in Seattle and the lessons it holds for public education.