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Category: Education

July
10th

Rep. Marcie Maxwell leaving state House for education adviser job with Inslee administration

State Rep. Marcie Maxwell put out a statement Tuesday saying she is resigning her seat in the Legislature to take a senior education-adviser role in Gov. Jay Inslee‘s executive policy office later in July.

Maxwell, a Renton Democrat serving the 41st District, was the House Democrats’ deputy majority leader for education and opportunity, and her House committees included Education, Appropriations and Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. The Governor’s Office confirmed the appointment.

Here is the statement issued by Maxwell:

State Representative Marcie Maxwell is announcing her resignation from elected office to accept a new position in statewide service. This month,

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May
21st

Washington roads, transit earn D+ from engineers

Engineers give Washington state a grade of D-plus for the condition of its roads and another D-plus for its mass transit.

Those are the lowest grades in a report card released today that give Washington infrastructure an overall mediocre grade of C. It’s the first attempt by the Seattle section of the American Society of Civil Engineers to grade the state, and engineers told reporters today the grades try to capture the direction the state is moving as well as the current state of infrastructure.

Washington measures up better than the nation as a whole, which received a D-plus in a

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April
17th

UPDATE: Senate Education leader confirms Senate will concur in new version of bill to let state order improvements at failing schools

Once called the Superintendent Schools bill, Senate Bill 5329 has been rewritten and could be sent to the desk of Gov. Jay Inlsee sometime after Wednesday’s bill cutoff.

The bill seeks to deal with schools and school districts that continue to perform poorly and are resistant to attempts to improve.

Initially the bill, which was a centerpiece of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus education reform package, would have directed the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to take over and run persistently failing schools. It was seen as the final hammer to get struggling schools to implement restructuring and reform to improve performance of students.

The education community, however, rallied against it.

Now, a new version has emerged from talks between House and Senate education leaders, the SPI and the state board of education. The provisions mirror criteria for “school turnaround” laid out by Inlsee last week in his Education Accountability Vision (see below).

After passing the House Monday, 68-29 which strong bipartisan support, the bill will return to the Senate. If senators simply concur in the striking amendment that contains the deal, it will head to Inslee whose spokesman David Postman said: “The governor supports it and our office worked with members on the compromise.”

UPDATE: A spokesman for Litzow confirmed this afternoon that the Majority Coalition Caucus position is to concur in the House amendments. That means the Senate won’t seek to amend it again and their agreement will move the bill to the governor.

The process described in the bill would come at the end of existing federal and state school improvement efforts that require struggling schools to pick one of four school transformation models including replacing school leadership, replacing up to half the faculty or closing schools.

Only schools that still do not show improvement for students would face the consequences set up in SB 5329. But unlike earlier versions, the SPI wouldn’t take over a school but could order a district to implement an improvement plan.

Here is what it does, based on the House Bill report: Read more »

April
5th

Inslee now questioning A-F grades for schools but here’s what he said during the campaign

First, check out Brian Rosenthal’s story today in the Seattle Times about Gov. Jay Inslee pulling the rug out from under Senate Republicans who are pushing a series of education reforms including assigning letter grades to the state’s public schools.

Then watch what Inslee told Stand for Children about the issue during the campaign. The segment on use of teacher evaluations for personnel decisions like layoffs, assignments and rehires appears at 8:55. The segment on using his concern for dropouts, students he calls the forgotten children, begins at 9:50. Part of his platform would include assigning letter grades

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March
28th

UPDATE – Inslee’s tax plan pays for education add-on of $1.2 billion by hitting businesses, beer and bottled-water drinkers, car buyers

By Jordan Schrader and Brad Shannon:

A budget plan Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled today would add $1.2 billion to Washington’s two-year spending on basic education to meet a court order demanding more funding for schools. (Details here.)

School districts would finally receive full funding for busing costs. Half of kindergartners would be in school for full days. Poorer districts would get more money to hire more kindergarten and first-grade teachers. Newer teachers would receive stipends.

A big chunk of new money – $466 million – would cover school materials, supplies and costs such as utilities. But Initiative 732 would be suspended again,

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March
14th

House Republican plan would devote $817 million to McCleary, expand Medicaid

Minority Republicans in the state House today called for devoting $817 million over the next two years to meet a state Supreme Court mandate to fund K-12 schools.

They released the first spending plan the public has seen since the legislative session began two months ago, combining a detailed budget for K-12 education with only broad sketches of how other obligations would be met — notably, without general tax increases and by taking federal money offered by President Barack Obama’s health-care law to expand Medicaid insurance.

 

“The affordable health care act is here. It’s already been passed. We already

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March
7th

Sally Jewell appointment to Interior Department will leave a vacancy on University of Washington board of regents

That is, if the head of REI is confirmed by the Senate (her first hearing was today).

But Sally Jewell, one of 10 appointed regents who govern the state’s largest university, has let Gov. Jay Inslee know that she will resign from the board once she take over the Department of Interior.

“We expect her to resign once she is confirmed,” said Inslee press secretary David Postman. “It is her plan and desire to do so.”

That will give the governor his first chance to make an appointment to what is one of the plum posts for those who

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