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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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. 

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.”