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Washington Blog

Finally, some grand plans that tackle school levies

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In mid-April, State Superintendent Randy Dorn, followed by Senate and House lawmakers, unveiled their own grand proposals to address the crux of the Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling: boosting funding for basic education in a reliable and sustainable way.

To do so, lawmakers must tackle the challenge of reducing school districts’ reliance on local levies, while shifting the cost burden to the State.

OPSI's Statement on Statewide Testing

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The following is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on using state testing to help determine if students are on a path to success after high school:

House, Senate budget proposals prioritize education, but don’t address local district spending burden

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In early April, State House and Senate lawmakers passed their respective budget proposals for the 2015-17 biennium. We want to thank our state lawmakers for prioritizing education policies that favor student outcomes and an aligned funding system.

Let’s start with what looks promising in the budget proposals:

TOTAL NEW SPENDING ON MCCLEARY (ESHB 2261/ SHB 2776) FOR THE 2015-17 BIENNIUM

  • House Budget Proposal: $1.4 billion

  • Senate Budget Proposal: $1.3 billion

Standing for Children in Olympia

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The NCLB Waiver bill—is stalled in the House

Stand in the Community

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On Tuesday evening, March 10th the State Board of Education met at Pacific Lutheran University for a Community Forum for a night of conversation with local education champions and parents.  Part of their outreach plan is to move the board meetings around to hear their  concerns about education in Washington State.

Early Start Act Passes and Protect School Funding Update

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Last year, the Washington State Senate brought a bill requiring test-based student growth in teacher evaluations to the Senate floor as the last bill to be voted on before the cut-off for bills from the house of origin—a spot reserved for top priority bills. Many of us were deeply disappointed to see it fail in that floor vote.

Ask your Senator to Support the Early Start Act

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We just got word that the Senate Ways and Means Committee scheduled a hearing for the Early Start Act on Wednesday at 1:30 pm.

Can you call your Senator before 8 pm tonight and ask them to support the Early Start Act? Dial the toll-free hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask to speak to your Senator.

Here's what you need to say when you get your Senator on the line:

Legislative Roll Call: More good news

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On Monday, the House Education Committee heard testimony on a bill that threatened to water down Washington’s public charter school law – one of the strongest in the nation.

HB 1971 would have arbitrarily limited the number of public charter schools that could open in a school district with no regard for the size or need of the student body.

Legislative Roll Call: Are we on the same page?

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So much good news this week!

We just had our annual Legislative Summit which provided the opportunity for local constituents to hear from public officials and experts about current education policy issues. It was a great event with more than twice as many attendees as last year. People left the Legislative Summit with a better handle on the current policies being discussed in Olympia.

Testimony on the No Child Left Behind Waiver

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This week testimony was given before the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. Below are some highlights of the testimony.

Superintendent Carla Santorno of Tacoma Public Schools highlights the consequences of losing control of the funding with the loss of the waiver.

Cary Evans, Government Affairs Director at Stand for Children, highlights the polling data around the waiver.

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