Education

WPC's Center for Education conducts objective research and makes practical policy recommendations to improve Washington State's ability to carry out its paramount duty to educate every child within its borders.

Education Blog

Attorney General says State Superintendent Dorn has gone astray with his plan to shut down government

July 31, 2015 in Blog

Today the state Attorney General filed the state’s answer to Superintendent Randy Dorn’s brief to the state Supreme Court in the McCleary case, adding to the post-legislative-session reports to the Court about school funding. The AG sharply criticizes the Superintendent’s plan to shut down government, pointing out Dorn’s plan would cause children to go hungry:

Lawmakers, in strong response to McCleary ruling, vote historic levels of funding for public schools

July 20, 2015 in Blog

In a recent Facebook post, education policy leader Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-Issaquah) noted that state supreme court justices may soon decide to impose a punishment on him and fellow lawmakers for failing to fund public schools.  He asks readers, “What do you feel might be appropriate sanctions for the Court to impose at this point?”

Vance seeks $5 billion more for schools

July 13, 2015 in Blog

Chris Vance, who works for Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, has a commentary today at Crosscut on the legislature’s alleged shortcomings in funding public education.  The commentary has bi-partisan roots – Dorn is a Democrat, and Vance is a former Republican state party chairman.

$2 billion hole blown in brand new 2015-17 budget

July 1, 2015 in Blog

Around 11:30 p.m. last night (30 minutes before a government shutdown) Governor Inslee signed the state's 2015-17 budget. Though the new budget is only a few hours old, there is already a $2 billion cloud hanging over it.

Legislature approves budget/transportation package; averts government shutdown but work still to be done for budget to balance

July 1, 2015 in Blog

With just hours to spare before a partial state government shutdown, the legislature overwhelmingly adopted the state’s 2015-17 budget. By a vote of 38-10 in the Senate and 90-8 in the House, lawmakers approved a $38.2 billion biennial budget ($79 billion all funds). This represents a 13% increase in spending from the 2013-15 budget.

New state budget to spend $2.9 billion more on public schools; 19% increase is one of largest in state history

June 30, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday, after 165 days of discussion and negotiation, lawmakers in Olympia reached agreement on a state budget for 2015-17.  The new budget will increase spending on K-12 public schools from the current $15.26 billion to $18.15 billion, an increase of 19%. Lawmakers achieved this large rise in spending with the natural increase in current revenues, without imposing new taxes on Washington families and business owners.

Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education

June 26, 2015 in Blog

Education leader Don Nielsen gave a fascinating and informative presentation recently at the Discovery Institute in Seattle about his new reform book "Every School." Watch the video here:

Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education

Read the summary here. 

On average, teachers make more than the families who pay their salaries

May 22, 2015 in Blog

Education leader Rep. Chad Magendanz has released an informative chart (below), based on OSPI data, showing that teachers on average are not underpaid, but make well above the median household income in our state. 

The numbers show that on average teachers make more than the taxpaying working families who pay their salaries. The teacher salary figures are for a ten-month work year, while most people earn their income over twelve months. 

WPC comments on SB 6116, on strikes in public schools

May 19, 2015 in Blog

This afternoon I was invited to speak before the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee about SB 6116, on strikes in the public schools. 

Below is an outline of my remarks.

1. Teacher union strikes against the legislature are not possible

a) Union executives say they are calling strikes against the legislature.  This is not possible.

b) Union executives have signed labor contracts with school districts, not the state legislature.  These strikes are by unions against their local community schools.