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Tag: Education


Vialle seeks Tacoma School Board seat

Former Tacoma Mayor Karen Vialle announced Wednesday that she plans to run for a seat on the Tacoma School Board.

Vialle, who served as mayor from 1990 to 1994, has also worked as a substitute teacher in Tacoma Public Schools for nearly nine years. She is a member of the city’s current Mayor’s Task Force on Education.

Vialle plans to run this fall for Position 5 on the board, the seat now held by first-term board member Kim Golding.

Golding said she welcomes the chance to run against Vialle. She said she agrees with many of Vialle’s ideas, such as reducing the dropout rate and the achievement gap, but she said the challenge is to do it without enough resources.
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Heinze intends to run for Tacoma School Board

The chairman of an organization that works with business and community volunteers to support Tacoma schools wants to run for a seat on the Tacoma School Board.

Scott Heinze, board chairman for Communities in Schools of Tacoma, has announced that he will seek the Position 3 seat to be vacated by Jim Dugan at the end of his term, which expires at the end of this year.

Dugan has announced that he won’t run for re-election.

Why declare his candidacy so early in the game, when the election isn’t until November? “I want to get out into the community,” Heinze

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Gig Harbor-based vocational school agrees to $3.2 million settlement

A defunct Gig Harbor-based vocational school has agreed to settle claims from hundreds of Oregon students who say the school defrauded them.

The owners of the Business Computer Training Institute have agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle six lawsuits filed by students who attended two Oregon campuses, the Oregonian newspaper reported last week.

The Oregon settlement follows a similar settlement with Washington students two years ago. The Washington students won a $13.25 million settlement in a lawsuit filed in Pierce County Superior Court.

Students in the various lawsuits claimed BCTI charged them thousands of dollars for an education that proved to be almost worthless. A News Tribune investigation published in 2006 showed:

• BCTI recruited students at welfare and unemployment offices, sometimes in violation of state law. Its employees falsified admissions tests that allowed ineligible students to receive financial aid.

• The school pressured its employees to meet enrollment and retention quotas, and fired them when they didn’t. It pressured teachers to keep unqualified students in class so the school could collect their financial aid.

• BCTI charged $11,000 for basic computer classes that were available elsewhere for much less or even free.

• Regulators were suspicious of BCTI as far back as 1993. But despite multiple threats to sanction the school, federal, state and private regulators didn’t follow through until Oregon investigators put the school on probation in February 2005.

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