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

Does increasing public school spending improve learning outcomes for children?

February 11, 2014 in Publications

Key Findings

  • Public school spending between 1990 and 2013 increased by 28%, adjusted for inflation, while graduation rates and academic outcomes remained flat.
  • Public school graduation rate in 1990 was 76%, in 2013 it was 77%.
  • Trend data on academic outcomes for Washington state public school students has remained largely unchanged for years.

Research question: Does more education spending improve outcomes for students?

Parents voice support for opening charter schools

February 3, 2014 in Publications


Washington’s first charter schools to open in Seattle, Tacoma, Kent, Highline and Spokane; 3,565 children to be served, 4,900 children asked to wait

January 31, 2014 in Blog

Yesterday, at West Seattle’s Bethaday Community Center, I attended an important meeting of the Washington State Charter School Commission.  At this historic meeting the Commission approved the first charter schools that will open their doors to students, since voters repealed the state’s charter school ban in 2012.

Overview of Public School Teacher Pay and Benefits - Increases in teacher pay from 2006-2013

January 27, 2014 in Publications

Executives at Washington’s public education teachers’ union (WEA) recently announced that their top lobbying goal for the 2014 legislative session is to increase pay for their members. To support their case, the WEA’s “Our Voice” newsletter states,

“Educators have gone six straight years without a COLA.”

Senator McAuliffe signals support for charter schools

January 27, 2014 in Blog

In an interview Thursday with Austin Jenkins on Inside Olympia, Senator Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell) signaled her support for charter schools.  

My Bills - HB 2133

January 25, 2014 in In the News
Washington House Republicans - Representative Elizabeth Scott
Washington House Republicans - Representative Elizabeth Scott
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Seattle educators seek to open charter school for homeless children

January 24, 2014 in Blog

Educators at First Place School have applied to open a public charter school in Seattle under Washington’s voter-approved charter school law.  In November 2012, Washington became the 42nd state to authorize the popular independent public schools.

Charter school proposals draw hundreds of parents to public meeting

January 17, 2014 in Blog

Wednesday evening I attended a public forum in Renton to hear the proposals of three charter school applicants. More than 350 people showed up during the course of the evening, with standing-room-only the first hour.  Immigrant, low-income, middle-income and upper-income parents testified they hoped their children could attend one of the three proposed charter schools.