As legislators and onlookers filled the House chamber, seven officials stood-by ready to be sworn-in. When it was time to take their oaths, levity was a common theme.
Bob Ferguson’s swearing-in as Attorney General was met with a large grin from Ferguson and laughter from lawmakers and onlookers when Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez included the actual RCW code numbers Ferguson’s oath.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman was visibly choked up during her swearing-in. During her brief address, she thanked her family and alluded to her successful ascension of the stairs and tears of joy. “I didn’t trip,” Wyman said. …
Washington schools superintendent Randy Dorn has sent state lawmakers a request to alter language in the charter schools initiative that voters approved in November. The Associated Press is reporting Dorn sent a letter asking legislators, who open a 105-day regular session on Monday, to give him authority over the schools:
Dorn says the law, which was approved by voters in November, is unconstitutional because it establishes a separate system of public schools, run by an independent, unelected agency. The state constitution says the superintendent of public instruction is in charge of all matters
Some call it ballot fatigue – the tendency of races that fall further down the ballot to receive less attention from voters.
Elections officials, however, call it undervote.
For example, in the just completed primary election in Washington state, 1,435,182 votes were cast — an anemic 38.5 percent. And the race for governor, uncompetitive as it was, got the most love from voters. Just 1.8 percent of those who filled out a ballot did not cast a vote for governor. In the race for U.S. Senate, the undervote was 3.4 percent.
But the dropoff gets more-severe further down the ballot: …
Here is Associated Press Olympia Correspondent Rachel La Corte’s story on Rob McKenna’s presser Tuesday in Tacoma.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna said Tuesday that he would spend an additional $1.7 billion on the state’s public education obligations and higher education through 2015.
McKenna’s plan would take into account a series of expected savings, such as smaller government, more competitive state contracting and curbed health care costs, all ideas he’s discussed before. The plan released Tuesday included a spreadsheet that puts dollar figures onto how much would go toward education in the coming years through 2021.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn of Eatonville says he wants another four years to continue his work of education reform.
Dorn’s biggest campaign promise when he ran in 2008 – unseating incumbent Terry Bergeson – was to replace the old Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL).
Dorn said the system he developed – the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) for students in grades three through eight and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) – offers better, fairer tests. The state also began phasing in an online testing system during Dorn’s term.
Spanaway resident Don Hansler announced this week that he’ll make another run for the state office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The retired teacher also ran for the office in 2008. Incumbent Randy Dorn won that race. Dorn also announced this week that he’ll seek re-election to the post.
Hansler said he spent most of his teaching career in the Bellevue School District. After retiring in 1982, he wrote a textbook on teaching and used it in his work as an adjunct professor for several years at Seattle Pacific University, he said. He has also worked in retirement as a …