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.

What's New

Green schools getting mixed grades

May 19, 2011 in In the News
Spokesman Review (Spokane)
Spokesman Review (Spokane)
Thursday, May 19, 2011

Senators Tom and Zarelli persist: Reform seniority rules to retain the best young teachers

May 18, 2011 in Blog

This afternoon the Senate Ways and Means Committee heard Senators Tom and Zarelli's bill, SB 5959, which would ban contract provisions like this one:

 "The performance ratings (evaluation) of employees shall not be a factor in determining the order of layoff under this Section."  See page 111 of Seattle's 2010-2013 collective bargaining agreement.

Green Washington State Schools Worth Cost?

May 17, 2011 in In the News
KXLY 4 News (Spokane)
KXLY 4 News (Spokane)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

State Audit Shows Most "Green" Schools Cost More and Are Less Efficient Than Average School

May 16, 2011 in Blog

Last week, the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee (JLARC) released its report on the state's green buildings requirements. The title of the report indicates that the "Impact on Energy Use is Mixed." A casual look at the report shows that the word "mixed" is a generous assessment.

Spokane Teachers, Staff Get Official Layoff Notices

May 9, 2011 in In the News
KXLY 4 News
KXLY 4 News
Friday, May 6, 2011

State revenues rise by $4 billion; Democrats plan to cut teacher pay

May 6, 2011 in Blog

John Carlson called me this morning to get data on state revenue and teacher pay.  Apparently, on his show this morning he is talking about the Democrats' plans to cut teacher pay, even though state revenue is rising. Brad Shannon describes the action in Olympia here.

The state data I sent Carlson shows two surprising revenue trends:

Seattle School Board Votes in Support of Tax Increase on Homeowners

May 6, 2011 in Blog

Wednesday night the Seattle School Board passed a resolution calling for doubling the cost of the city’s Families and Education Levy, which goes to Seattle voters for renewal in November.

Spokane Public School layoffs target teachers, not administrators

May 4, 2011 in Blog

Spokane Public School officials sent out 238 layoff notices to school district employees this week. District officials feel they don’t have enough state funding, despite the fact their budget is higher than it has ever been before, and they are educating 3,000 fewer students than they did just 10 years ago.

Among those who have been told they might be terminated:

Spokane Officials Should Look Elsewhere before Making Cuts in the Classroom

April 27, 2011 - Spokane Public Schools says it needs to slash $12 million from its budget. Officials there are talking about increasing class sizes and laying off teachers to fill the gap. But as WPC's Eastern Washington Director Chris Cargill explained to KXLY 4 News in Spokane, concentrating money on the classroom is the most important thing educators can do. Watch the story below and check out WPC's Key Facts about Spokane Public Schools.

Puyallup parents cancel protest

April 29, 2011 in Blog

Hundreds of parents in Puyallup were planning a protest this afternoon at the Puyallup school district headquarters. They are upset that the district has placed Rogers High Principal Scott Brittain on administrative leave for teaching chemistry and for taking a trip to San Francisco with the choir.

According to The News Tribune, Scott Brittain himself asked parents to cancel the protest.  Parents complied with his request.