Do Doctors Really Want a Single-payer Health Care System?
Aug 18, 2017

A recent survey found that physicians are trending toward support of a single-payer health care system in the United States. Merritt Hawkins and Associates is a national employment agency for doctors. They surveyed 70,000 physicians, received 1,000 responses, and compared the results to their study of ten years ago. In 2008, 58 percent of doctors contacted opposed a single-payer health care system. This year, 56 percent either strongly or somewhat favored a single-payer system.

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Two new public charter schools open in Seattle
Aug 17, 2017

Good news from Seattle. Two new public charter schools are opening in Seattle this fall. Seattle’s first charter school, Summit Sierra, opened in 2015.  Seattle parents now can choose from one of three independently-run charter schools. In other good news, total enrollment at Washington’s charter schools has jumped to 2,500 students, more than double last year’s enrollment.  Enthusiasm for charter schools is growing. More families are deciding to trust the education of their children to these quality schools.   

Seattle’s two new charter schools belong to accomplished charter school networks. Rainier Valley Leadership Academy (RVLA) is part of the successful Green Dot charter school network from Los Angeles. RVLA opened in southeast Seattle on Monday, August 14th to one class of sixth-graders, and will grow to serve grades 6-12. RVLA joins two other Washington Green Dot charter schools, Destiny Middle School in Tacoma and Excel Public Charter School in Kent.

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Senate committee discusses collective bargaining transparency
Aug 17, 2017

The Senate Commerce & Labor Committee held a work session yesterday on "public transparency in collective bargaining negotiations." Despite the strong mandate for government transparency declared by the people in the Open Public Meetings Act, government employee contracts are usually negotiated in secret, meaning an important and costly taxpayer expense is hidden until the final bill comes due. There have been several efforts in recent years to close this loophole to the people’s right to know, but they have not been successful so far at the state level. At the local level, however, Lincoln County, the Pullman and Tukwila School districts have blazed the trail in fulfilling the strong mandate for transparency provided by the state Open Public Meetings Act. To build trust with taxpayers, government officials at all levels should do the same, by adopting public employee contract transparency requirements.

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