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.

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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. 

Puyallup High School Principal in trouble for teaching chemistry and trip to San Francisco with choir

April 28, 2011 in Blog

The News Tribune reports today that Scott Brittain, principal of Rogers High in the Puyallup School District, has been placed on administrative leave for teaching a zero-hour (after-school) chemistry class.  The district contends he violated a rule that administrators are not supposed to teach.  He also took a trip to San Francisco with the school choir, which allegedly violated some other rule.

Spokane Public Schools administrator claims state not increasing education spending

April 28, 2011 in Blog

An assistant superintendent for Spokane Public Schools made a surprising comment last night when addressing the district’s budget woes. Staci Vesneske, in an interview with KXLY4 News, said “what has happened is, as costs for education have risen, the state funding has not.”

Legislature passes Innovation Schools Bill

April 26, 2011 in Blog

Last Friday, the 22nd of April, 2011, the House of Representatives passed Representative Mark Hargrove's (R-Kent) Innovation School bill, HB 1546.  Soon the Governor will sign it into law.

Key Facts about Monroe Public Schools

April 25, 2011 in Publications

New research released by Washington Policy Center, a non-partisan public policy research think tank based in Seattle, provides key facts for the Monroe School District. Education budgets in Washington State are at historic highs, reaching $10,200 per student statewide. Average teacher pay including benefits is $87,834 for a ten-month work year. 24 Monroe public school employees receive more than $100,000 a year.

Are Unions a Benefit or Obstacle to the Education of Children?

April 25, 2011 in Blog

In April I participated in a education discussion at Western Washington University sponsored by the Law and Social Justice Forum of the College of Education.  With me on the panel were Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association (the state teachers’ union) and Professor William Lyne, President of the United Faculty of Washington.  The topic was “Are Unions a Benefit or Obstacle to the Education of Children?”

Charter programs end foolish rules that limit reform

April 18, 2011 in In the News
The Washington Times
The Washington Times
Friday, April 15, 2011

Governor still wants to fire youngest teachers first

April 15, 2011 in Blog

Peter Callaghan’s article in The News Tribune reports today that the Governor does not support Senator Tom and Zarelli's amendment to E2SHB 1443.  E2SHB 1443 updates the prototype school reform bill passed two years ago. 

116 of 161 Tacoma-area Schools Ranked as Only "Fair" or "Struggling"

April 15, 2011 in Publications

The News Tribune (Tacoma) published this op-ed on April 12, 2011.