On Friday, July 12, Highline School Board Director Susan Goding wrote a short article against allowing charter schools, “Authorizing charter schools makes no business sense for school districts.” You can read the article here. This article is a clear attempt to discourage implementation of the new charter school law.
On a hot summer day what could sound better than a state of the art indoor/outdoor aquatic center and water park to cool off in? How about one that doesn’t require permanent and ongoing taxpayer subsidies, even under the best case financial projections, to stay afloat.
Are you serious about climate change? Do you think it is a policy worth addressing? How can we tell who is really serious from the everyday poseur who is simply engaging in public preening? Here is a simple test.
Pierce Transit sought permission for local options and sales tax authority to fund transit when they lobbied Olympia to pass the now-failed transportation tax package, claiming tax revenue shortfalls. While the public has twice rejected sales tax increases for transit, Pierce Transit wanted to create a sub-district with its own tax authority that would approve of sales tax increases. Pierce Transit threatens to cut 28% of bus service in September, but has made a new addition in Gig Harbor, a $250,000 temporary trolley route, which are actually diesel buses.
On July 1st, Spokane Public Schools was the only district in Washington state to submit an application to become a charter school authorizer for the 2014-15 school year. Responsible for the education of 28,738 students, Spokane Public Schools is the second-largest district in Washington. With this decision, Spokane has become the state’s most progressive, forward-looking district in the state.
A study by the Tax Foundation reveals cell phones are often taxed at a much higher level than other consumer items, even “sin” products like alcohol and cigarettes. And when comparing the state and local tax and fee rates on wireless service, Washington ranks the second highest in the nation.
The U.S. Department of Energy yesterday released a report on "Impacts to the Energy Sector from Climatic Conditions." It notes "climate change is happening -- and the effects are already being felt across the country." The report examines how "decreasing water availability" and other impacts are harming energy production.
Life is full of teachable moments. Consider the following exchange between the Mayor of Coulee Dam and the Washington Coalition for Open Government (WPC serves on the WCOG board) as an example of how a government official should NOT respond to a public records request.
Monday, July 1st was an important date in the implementation of Initiative 1240, the voter-approved measure that legalized charter schools for Washington school children. That was the deadline for interested school districts to submit an application to the State Board of Education to become a charter school authorizer.
Here's a grab bag of stories to read while eating your burger, brat and steak tomorrow. It's what the Founding Fathers would want.
Using the Free Market to Save the Rhino
Here's a great (and moving) piece from NPR's Planet Money on a proposal to encourage the breeding of rhinos in an effort to flood the market with rhino horn (which grows back) and undermine poaching by driving prices down. At the current rate, poaching will cause a decline in the rhino population in 2016.