Archive for Education

School officials weigh changes to discipline law

By | May 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

A state law passed last year bans Washington schools from kicking a student out of school for good, instead placing a one-year limit on suspensions and expulsions.

Senate Bill 5946 also says schools “should make efforts” to get the student back in school as soon as possible, and hold a reengagement meeting with the student’s parents within 20 days of the punishment to develop a plan to get the student back in school.

The Office of Superintendent Public Instruction is finalizing procedures related to the new law, and about 50 people appeared at a public hearing on Monday to weigh in. Another 1,500 people submitted comments by email.

A working draft of the changes is expected to be completed by the end of the month, and the finalized rules would take effect at the start of the 2014-15 school year, according to OSPI.

Many of those who spoke at Monday’s hearing said that minorities and special education students face a disproportionate amount of discipline in public schools. School officials suspended or expelled more than 59,000 students in Washington schools in 2012-13, according to state data.

An analysis of the data by Washington Appleseed, a non-profit advocacy group, found that black students in Seattle were expelled at five times the rate as white students in the 2012-13 school year.

Katie Mosehauer of Washington Appleseed said the figures also show that the majority of students are being disciplined for “relatively minor behaviors,” such as disobedience, violating the dress code or truancy.

Mosehauser’s group wants OSPI to change the procedures so that reengagement meetings with parents are mandatory. She also wants a stronger appeals process and for the law to apply to all students, regardless of when they were expelled.

But others say that the proposals could jeopardize the safety of the students and teachers.

Under the law, schools can petition for a punishment that exceeds the one year limit for students who pose a threat to “public health or safety.” Emergency expulsions must be changed to another form of corrective action within 10 days.

Parker Howell, an attorney for the Washington Association of School Principals, said those parts of the law have generated confusion, and don’t offer clear guidance on how to handle emergency expulsions.

“In some cases, returning a student to school prematurely can entail safety risks and we must be thinking of the safety concerns of the other students and staff,” said Howell.

He pointed to a $1.3 million jury verdict awarded to two students who were stabbed by a fellow classmate in a restroom at Snohomish High School. The attacker had previously been suspended for threatening students.

Howell said under the current rules, a school administrator can only expel a student for violating school rules. He suggested changing the rule so students can be expelled for posing a safety risk.

Several parents and guardians of special education students also spoke at the meeting, and said they were grateful for the new law. Others representing minority communities also say it is long overdue.

Structural inequalities in Washington schools have resulted in a “school-to-prison pipeline,” said Thelma Jackson of the Washington Alliance of Black School Educators.

“Given the deplorable situation in discipline for many schools in Washington state, I am very glad to finally see some movement to remedy the unjust and unfair practices that have been going on in most of our schools for quite some time,” Jackson said.

TVW taped the hearing — it will be archived at this link.

Categories: Education

Education funding report to state Supreme Court says 2015 session will be ‘critical’

By | April 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Washington Supreme Court earlier this year gave the Legislature an April 30 deadline to submit a plan explaining how the state will pay for education. Lawmakers met that deadline with a report submitted Tuesday — but it doesn’t include a plan.

“The Legislature did not enact additional timelines in 2014 to implement the program of basic education as directed by the Court in its January 2014 order,” according to the report, which was prepared and unanimously approved by the Article IX Litigation Committee.

During the 2014 legislative session, “there was was no political agreement reached either among the political caucuses or between the legislative chambers” on a plan to fully fund basic education by 2018.

Nor does the committee have the authority to come up with a plan, the report said. The Article IX committee was set up to communicate with the Supreme Court on matters related to to the McCleary lawsuit, and “does not have policy-making or budget-making authority.”

The 58-page report details bills that were passed this year, including Senate Bill 6552. The bill requires high school students to earn 24 credits for a diploma, starting with the class of 2019. The current minimum is 20 credits, although some school districts require more than the minimum.

It also notes the Legislature approved an increase of $58 million in the supplemental budget for K-12 books and supplies.

The committee asked the Supreme Court to give “deep consideration” to the action taken this year, and recognize that “2015 is the next and most critical year for the Legislature to reach the grand agreement needed to meet the state’s Article IX duty.”

Read the full report here.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn criticized the report as “far from complete.”

“It isn’t even a plan. It reads like a small history lesson,” said Dorn, who urged the Supreme Court “to do what it can to keep the Legislature’s feet to the fire.”

Democratic Sen. David Frockt and Republican Rep. Chad Magendanz, who both sit on the Article IX committee, discussed the report on this week’s edition of “The Impact.”

“We didn’t pass a plan, per se,” said Frockt. He said the committee instead tried to acknowledge what the Legislature accomplished, and explain how the budget process works in a supplemental year.

“In terms of what the court does with that, it’s hard to say,” Frockt said.

The Supreme Court is expected to give a response to the report this summer.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a brief to accompany the report, saying he “hopes that the Court’s response to the attached Report will further facilitate, and not complicate, this endeavor, thereby allowing each branch to fulfill its constitutional role.”

Categories: Education

Feds rescind No Child Left Behind waiver from Washington state

By | April 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Education is rescinding Washington’s No Child Left Behind waiver, a move state officials called disappointing but not surprising.

Washington is the first state to lose the waiver, and it means public schools will no longer have flexibility in spending about $40 million in federal funding.

“Loss of that funding means those districts now face potential impacts that could include laying off some of Washington’s tremendous teachers or cutting back on programs that serve at-risk students,” said Gov. Jay Inslee, who called the decision “disappointing but not unexpected.”

The waiver is being revoked because the state did not adopt legislation to require student test scores to be a factor in teacher and principal evaluations, according to the Education Department.

“I recognize that requiring the use of statewide assessments to measure student learning growth requires a legislative change, and that Gov. Inslee and your office worked diligently to obtain that change,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote in a letter to Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. “However, because those efforts were unsuccessful, and your legislature is not scheduled to reconvene until January 2015, I cannot extend Washington’s authority to implement ESEA flexibility…”

The state Senate rejected a bill on a 19-28 vote in February that would have made changes to the state’s evaluation system. The sponsor of that bill, Republican Sen. Steve Litzow, said the loss of the waiver is “not at all a surprise given legislative Democrats refusal to comply with the very requirements we signed up for.”

Superintendent Dorn supported making student progress a factor in teacher evaluations. “Unfortunately the teacher’s union felt it was more important to protect their members than agree to that change and pressured the Legislature not to act,” Dorn said in a statement.

Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson said the No Child Left Behind law is “ineffective,” and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle “were not willing to risk our kid’s futures for policies that don’t work.”

“Our evaluation system was designed for Washington and it works for Washington’s kids and their teachers and principals,” Nelson said.

Categories: Education

Legislative Year in Review

By | March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

On this special one-hour edition of “Legislative Year in Review,” we recap the highlights from the 2014 session — from opening day to Sine Die. The show includes debate over issues such as the Dream Act, minimum wage, gun control, abortion insurance bill, death penalty, mental health, teacher evaluations, taxing e-cigarettes and the supplemental budget. Plus, a quick wrap-up of several of the bills that passed this year. Watch the show below:

2014 Roundup: What bills passed, what didn’t pass during session

By | March 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Washington State Legislature adjourned shortly before midnight on Thursday, the final day of the regular 2014 session. It’s the first time since 2009 that lawmakers finished their work without going into an overtime special session.

Here’s an overview of what lawmakers accomplished — and didn’t accomplish — during the session.

PASSED:

Supplemental budget: Both chambers agreed on a supplemental operating budget that spends about $155 million, including $58 for K-12 books and supplies. It also adds additional money to the mental health system, early learning and prisons. It does not include any new taxes or tax breaks, nor does it include teacher pay raises.

Dream Act/Real Hope Act: The Dream Act allows undocumented immigrants to apply for state need grants to help pay for college. The House passed its version of the Dream Act on opening day. The Senate renamed it the Real Hope Act and added $5 million to the state need grant. It was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee in February.

Homeless fees: As part of a last-minute deal, lawmakers agreed to extend until 2019 a $40 document recording fee that people pay during real estate transaction, such as buying or refinancing a house. The fee supports homeless shelters, affordable housing and other services and was scheduled to sunset unless the Legislature took action.

24 credit diploma: Starting with the class of 2019, high school students will have to earn 24 credits for a diploma. The current minimum is 20 credits, although some school districts require more than the minimum. The bill will also provide more opportunities for students to take career and technical classes that meet graduation requirements.

Tanning beds ban: Teenagers under the age of 18 would no longer be allowed to use tanning beds in Washington. Senate Bill 6065 bans minors from using tanning beds, unless they have a written prescription for UV radiation treatment from a doctor. Tanning salons would be fined $250 for violations.

Domestic violence: Washington residents under domestic violence restraining orders will soon be barred from owning guns. The bill says that someone who is under a protection, no-contact, or restraining order related to domestic violence must surrender his or her guns to law enforcement.

Drones: The Legislature approved a bill that puts limits government agencies that use drones, or remote-controlled monitoring devices, for surveillance. An agency may only use a drone after getting a warrant or under several exceptions, such as a fire or other emergency.

Religious holidays: State employees will be allowed to take two unpaid days off a year for religious reasons, and public school children will be excused for two days under a bill approved by the Legislature.

Military in-state tuition: Veterans and active duty military members will soon qualify for in-state tuition at Washington colleges and universities without having to first establish residency. Senate Bill 5318 waives the one-year waiting period for veterans, military members and their families.

Short-barreled rifles: Washington gun owners will soon be allowed to own a short-barreled rifle under a bill approved by the Legislature. It is currently a felony to own a gun with a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, or to have a modified gun that is shorter than 26 inches overall. (more…)

Federal education waiver in limbo after teacher evaluation bill dies

By | March 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

The state’s waiver from federal No Child Left Behind requirements is in question, after legislators failed to pass it before the end of the 2014 legislative session Thursday.

Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters before the end of session that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made clear to him that without the bill, the state would lose $40 million of flexibility on federal money for schools.

Inslee said the bill would help satisfy the federal No Child Left Behind law requirement to include standardized test scores in teacher evaluations, but the state had been lobbying for a waiver of that requirement because of its own teacher evaluation program.

Inslee said if the bill didn’t pass, “we have to rethink and regroup.”

The bill failed in the Senate 19-28 last month. It was not brought up in the House for a vote.

Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, who had tried to get support, told reporters that Senators in both parties had supported the bill, but not enough to get the votes to pass it.

“We always lose the far right and the far left,” he said.

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D- Bothell, who opposed the bill, said all that would happen without the waiver would be that the $40 million would be spent on programs specified by the federal Department of Education. That was not enough reason to give in on teacher evaluations, she said.

“They are not losing the money, they just having strings attached,” she said.

McAuliffe said the federal government needs to change the No Child Left Behind law, and said Washington state shouldn’t hand over control of its own education system to the federal government.

“I hope it sends a message to them,” she said.

Categories: Education

Legislature approves 24 credit high school diploma

By | March 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

Washington high schoolers will have to earn more credits to graduate under a bill approved by the Legislature this week.

Starting with the class of 2019, high school students will have to earn 24 credits for a diploma. The current minimum is 20 credits, although some school districts require more than the minimum.

Senate Bill 6552 will also provide more opportunities for students to take career and technical classes that meet graduation requirements.

“With this bill we are improving our standards for high school graduates, whether they are going on to college or whether they are going on to a career after high school,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island.

The bill passed the Senate 45-2 on Thursday, the final day of session. It previously passed out of the House 93-5, and now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

Categories: Education

Live in Olympia: TVW’s Sine Die show starts at 8 a.m. Thursday

By | March 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

Washington’s legislative leaders will adjourn the 2014 session Thursday, unless a special session extends the deadline. But before they go back to their districts TVW will air back-to-back live interviews with more than 20 lawmakers starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Anita Kissée reporting live from the capitol rotunda for TVW's special edition mid-session show Feb. 18.

Anita Kissée, host of The Impact, will sit down with Gov. Jay Inslee, House Democratic Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan and House Republican leader Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Other guests include Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee, Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, and Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island. The lawmakers will talk about a range of issues from education to the capital budget to the environment.

Plus, Austin Jenkins, host of TVW’s “Inside Olympia” and reporter for the Public Radio Northwest News Network, and Brian Rosenthal, a state government reporter for The Seattle Times, will stop by to talk about some highlights from the past 60 days and what to expect when the election process begins.

Coverage will be here on the blog, and you can watch live on TVW or via webcast.

House Finance approves ending four tax breaks to raise money for education

By | March 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

A proposal to end four tax breaks, which would raise $100 million dollars for education, passed out of the House Finance committee Tuesday morning.

The four tax proposed tax breaks in HB 2796 are the following:

  • Implementing a sales tax for bottled water.
  • Taxing extracted fuel used by oil refineries.
  • Ending a preferential tax rate for prescription drug warehousing.
  • Changing the sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers into a refund program.

While the bill does not earmark the revenue for education, the House’s supplemental budget proposal, and the Democratic minority in the Senate have both identified ending these tax breaks as a way to raise state revenue.

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, opposed the bill, saying that the refund program would hurt stores in border communities that depend on out-of-state customers.

Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama

 

“They are going to go, ‘I ain’t filling out no form.’ What they’re going to do is they are going to stand there and they are going look at the clerk and say, ‘ You keep your goods. I’m going somewhere else,’ ” he said.

Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, committee chair and bill sponsor, urged the bill’s passage.

“There’s a strong case that the value to the public is the greatest to invest these dollars in our one million school kids in the state of Washington,” he said.

The bill passed out of committee 8 to 5.

Industry and business argue against ending tax breaks

By | February 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

The House’s proposal to raise state revenue by changing the non-resident sales tax exemption brought business and industry representatives to argue against the changes on Friday.

“Imposing an education obligation on just a few companies or out-of-state shoppers, we do not believe is a responsible way to fund our education obligation,” said Amber Carter, of the Association of Washington Business, who testified before the House Finance Committee, which considered HB 2796.

The four tax proposed tax breaks in HB 2796 are the following:

  • Implementing a sales tax for bottled water.
  • Taxing extracted fuel used by oil refineries.
  • Ending a preferential tax rate for prescription drug warehousing.
  • Changing the sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers into a refund program.

While the bill does not earmark the revenue for education, the House’s supplemental budget proposal, and the Democratic minority in the Senate have both identified the tax breaks as a way to raise state revenue.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a report in January ordering the Legislature to come up with a plan by April for education funding through 2018 to comply with the terms of the McCleary lawsuit to fund public K-12 education.

The House proposal makes $173 million in adjustments to the 2013-15 budget, including increased K-12 education spending of $64 million and $21 million for child care.Shawn Lewis, of the Washington Education Association, testified that the state will have to raise revenue, if lawmakers hope to comply with the court order.

“Without identifying revenue sources at this time, you’re going to be further and further behind as we get to the 2017-18 year when basic education is supposed to be amply funded,” he said.

But, Bruce Tornquist, of Competitive Edge Marketing, a supplier to bottled water businesses, argued that bottled water, which is exempt from tax because it is currently classified as food, should continue to have that exemption.

“This is a healthy product. It is a food product, and putting a sales tax on this product has in the past shown a 10 percent drop in revenue to family-owned businesses that are the local bottlers,” Tornquist said.

However, Nick Federici of Our Economic Future Coalition, said the targeted tax breaks make sense, commenting on each of the taxes.

“Oregonians should pay the same sales tax in Washington that Washingtonians have to pay. By definition, none of your constituents would have to pay this tax,” he said.

But Rep. Brandon Vick (R-Felida) said he has heard from constituents in his district in Clark County are concerned about losing business if the state switches to a tax refund system for non-resident tax exemptions.

“I’ve heard from some specialty stores and up to 40 percent of their businesses come from Oregonians,” he said.

However, some people did testify in favor of ending those tax breaks.

Steve Leahy, Washington state director of business group America’s Edge, said it was time for the state to revisit the tax preferences.

“They don’t make sense anymore. There’s a higher purpose for those revenues,” he said.

The Finance committee took no action on the bill on Friday. The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

TVW aired the public hearing. The hearing will be posted in TVW’s archives.

Categories: Education, Uncategorized

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Supplemental budget, school construction bonds and healthcare costs

By | February 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Thursday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we have highlights from the Senate floor debate over the supplemental budget, which passed with a vote of 41 to 8 . Plus, details about a plan to pay for school construction with bonds back by lottery money.

And a plan to create a statewide health care cost database is struck from a bill in committee. Watch the show below:

Categories: Budget, Education, Healthcare

Dream Act becomes law in Washington, as REAL Hope Act

By | February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Dream Act, known in Washington as the REAL Hope Act, into law, as students and legislators crowded the room on Wednesday.

To his right was Sen. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor), who sponsored the bill and got it passed in the Majority Coalition controlled Senate, and to his left was former Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, the first Latina elected to the House of Representatives who left the Legislature in 2012.

“Today we’re allowing dreams to come true with the passage of the Dream Act,” Inslee said.

The Dream Act, as it has been called, would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for state need grants to help pay for college. The House passed its version of the Dream Act on opening day.

The Senate passed SB 6523, another version of the Dream Act, renaming it the REAL Hope Act, and adding $5 million to the state need grant. REAL stands for “Realizing Educational Access; changing Lives.”

The room was filled with students from all over the state, who had lobbied with the Latino/Latina Educational Achievement Project and One America, to encourage the passage of the bill.

“The young people who are here today are the ones who ultimately made this happen,” Inslee said.

“Looking into their eyes, so full of ambition and eagerness and energy, I thought, ‘How can we possibly say no to these young people? ‘ ” he said.

Bailey held second celebration of the law with students from Mount Vernon, which is in her district. Students from her district visited the Legislature multiple times to convince lawmakers to pass the act.

“I’m proud that we have been able to find a solution to this issue. These students were raised in our state, have gone through our K-12 schools and now have chance to afford college in our state,” she said in a released statement.

2.1.12

Lottery money would back $700M bonds for school construction in House proposal

By | February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

A bipartisan proposal in the House plans to take out $700 million in bonds for school construction, backed with proceeds from Washington’s Lottery, representatives on the House Capital Budget Committee announced on Wednesday.

Representatives Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish) and Drew McEwen (R-Union) jointly made the announcement as part of the House supplemental capital budget presentation, made after House Democrats presented a proposed supplemental operating budget.

While the plan partly would answer the State Supreme Court’s report and deadline for the McCleary lawsuit decision, which determined that the state was not paying enough toward basic K-12 education, Dunshee and McEwen both said that wasn’t the main reason behind the proposal. 

“We’re not doing this because the court told us,” Dunshee said. “We are doing this because this is what we want to do; this is in our DNA; this is what we ought to do; and we’re damn glad that the court agrees with us. It is really wind in our sails.”  

McEwen, who signed a letter criticizing the McCleary report and April deadline, said that his disagreement was separate from his support of backing construction bonds with lottery money. He said that voters support this use of lottery money, as shown by the passage of Initiative 728, which dedicated lottery revenue to school construction projects.

“The voters spoke to this in 2000,” McEwen said.

The $700 million in construction bonds could pay for up to 2,000 classrooms, and the proposal also calls for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to write guidelines for dividing the money throughout the state.

Unlike the current construction funding system, local districts would not have to pass a local levy to receive the construction funding from this proposal, according to fact sheet passed out at the press conference.

You can see the entire House capital proposal on fiscal.wa.gov.

You can watch the press conference on TVW’s website:

Categories: Budget, Education
Tags:

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Proposal for K-12 funding, prison college courses and crowdfunding

By | February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Tuesday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we cover a proposal by Senate Democrats to close tax breaks to raise money for education. We also have details on a bill to allow some prison inmates to take state-funded college courses, and another measure that would let Washington entrepreneurs raise money through crowdsourcing.

Watch the show below:

Senate Democrats target four tax breaks for school funding

By | February 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal Tuesday that they say meets a mandate from the Washington Supreme Court to fund the state’s public schools.

The court issued a report in January ordering the Legislature to come up with a plan by April for education funding through 2018. The Democratic proposal includes about $140 million in new school funding, including $38 million for school technology that is included in the Senate’s proposed supplemental budget.

Democrats say they plan to generate $100 million this year by:

  • Implementing a sales tax for bottled water.
  • Taxing extracted fuel used by oil refineries.
  • Ending a preferential tax rate for prescription drug warehousing.
  • Changing the sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers into a refund program.
The money would be earmarked for:
  • An increase in the percentage of school districts that have a funded all-day kindergarten.
  • Reducing class sizes in second grade from 24 to 20 in high-poverty schools.
  • An increase in school materials.
  • Teacher cost-of-living adjustment.

In following years, the proposal would provide funding for increased salaries for education administrators and staff, statewide all-day kindergarten, class size reductions in grades K-3 and increases in high school and middle school hours.

Democrats are the minority party in the state Senate, which is controlled by the Majority Coalition Caucus.

Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Kitsap County)  said after the press conference that the Senate Democrats unveiled the ideas after two years of not getting hearings in the Majority Coalition-controlled Senate.

“We’ve tried for all of last session, and all of this session to have a discussion,” she said. ”There’s been no give.”

While they hope to get a hearing on the four tax breaks this session, but she said the bulk of the plan would be worked on in the 2015 legislative session. (more…)

Categories: Education

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Voter deadlines, pre-registering teens and college budgets

By | February 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Thursday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we have details about a bill that would change the deadlines for people to register to vote before an election. The same committee also considered a bill that would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote when they get their drivers license.

Plus, debate over a measure that would require colleges and universities to post department-level budget information online. Watch the show below:

Categories: Education, Election

On ‘Legislative Review:’ Dream Act, ads in state parks and alcohol use among teens

By | February 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

On Wednesday’s edition of “Legislative Review,” we have highlights from the floor debate in the House over passing a version of the Dream Act. The show also has highlights from a committee hearing on a bill that would allow some advertising in state parks. Plus, a work session on alcohol and marijuana use among teenagers in the wake of Initiatives 1183 and 502.

Watch the show below:

Categories: Education, initiatives

Real Hope Act, Washington’s version of Dream Act, passes House

By | February 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo) speaks in support of the Real Hope Act, the Washington Senate's version of the Dream Act, whichpassed in the House on Tuesday.

The House passed the Real Hope Act, the Washington state Senate’s version of the Dream Act, 75-22, Tuesday night.

The bill’s next stop is to Gov. Jay Inslee‘s desk. Inslee, who has been vocal in his support of the Dream Act, has not indicated when he will sign the bill.

The Dream Act would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for state need grants to help pay for college. The House passed its version of the Dream Act on opening day.

The Senate passed SB 6523, its version of the Dream Act, three weeks ago, naming it the Real Hope Act. The Senate bill also adds $5 million to the state need grant.

“I have stood beside community members, beside students and parents as they have lifted their voices, and asked this body to please provide opportunity for all its citizens and students, ” said Rep. Lillian Ortiz- Self (D-Mukilteo). “For years, I have stood besides students as they cried and shared their stories with me, as they tried to hold on to hope, as they tried to dream of opportunity.”

Rep. Mark Hargrove (R-Covington) speaks about his concerns on the Real Hope Act. He voted against the measure.

Rep. Mark Hargrove (R-Covington) opposed the bill, and said that middle class students won’t be helped at all by the bill.

“When he walks around with his classmates of his, one of those two pay no tuition or fees,” Hargrove said. “It’s kind of frustrating for him to be in that situation.”

Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Covington) told TVW’s “The Impact” Tuesday morning that the House could take action on the bill. Sen. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor), the main sponsor of the Senate’s Real Hope Act, also spoke about her bill on the live show.

The floor debate was broadcast live on TVW. It will be available in TVW’s archives here, and we will post it to this article when it’s available.

Categories: Education, Uncategorized

Senate rejects changes to teacher evaluations, 19 to 28

By | February 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Senate rejected a bill Tuesday that would have made changes to the state’s teacher and principal evaluations. The bill failed on a vote of 19 to 28.

Lawmakers who supported the bill said the evaluation system must be updated to meet federal standards, or the state risks losing a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law. The bill would have required student test scores to be used as a factor in teacher and principal evaluations.

Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, said it was “mind-boggling” that the Legislature would give up more than $40 million dollars of federal money at a time when the state is struggling to fund basic education.

But opponents argued that the state should not allow the federal government to take away local control.

“We have one of the best evaluations programs in the nation and we should not break it,” said Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell. “Why would we let the federal government tell us what to do?”

McAuliffe and Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, released a statement following the vote saying that lawmakers intend to find other solutions so that the state can keep its federal waiver.

Categories: Education, WA Senate

Dream Act could reach Governor’s desk Tuesday night

By | February 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

A version of the Dream Act could reach Gov. Jay Inslee‘s desk  by Tuesday night, House majority leader Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Covington) told TVW Tuesday morning.

Sullivan made his remarks in a joint live appearance with Rep. Dan Kristiansen (R-Snohomish) on a live edition of “The Impact” with host Anita Kissee.

The Dream Act would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for state need grants to help pay for college. The House passed its version of the Washington Dream Act, HB 1817 on opening day.

The Senate passed SB 6523, its version of the Dream Act, three weeks ago, naming it the Real Hope Act. The Senate bill also adds $5 million to the state need grant.

According to the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project’s Facebook page, a group whose members have advocated for the Dream Act, says the group expects the House to take up the Senate bill after 5 p.m.

Categories: Education, Uncategorized