Another of the reforms in the Senate's proposed 2012 supplemental is SSB 6442, which would establish a consolidated purchasing system for public school employee health benefits. (It was passed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee Feb. 23.)
As I mentioned yesterday, the newly proposed Senate supplemental includes several reforms. These include SB 6618, which would repeal Initiatives 728 and 732. (The bill has seen no action in the legislature so far.)
Sunday's Seattle Times carried a strong editorial page call to action. "Losing kids on the path to prosperity" charts a course from early learning through higher education. Editorial page editor Kate Riley explains the urgency.
Last Friday, I noted that education reform dominated the first week of the legislative session. A good op-ed by Dean Allen, CEO of McKinstry Co. and current chair of the Washington Roundtable, explains the urgency.
The first week of the 2012 legislature draws to a close this cool Friday the 13th of January. Encouragingly, education reform has found substantial bipartisan support. In the Seattle Times, Brian Rosenthal has a good overview of yesterday's action.
Today, coincident with the governor's signing higher education bills, Boeing and Microsoft pledge $25 million each to fund scholarships for students in high-demand fields.
This is very good news, as the governor points out.
Last week, we posted a policy brief comparing the House and Senate budgets’ treatments of higher education. Both budgets propose significant tuition hikes on state-resident undergraduate students, with the increases in the Senate budget somewhat greater than those in the House budget (11–16 percent vs. 11–13 percent).
We have posted a new policy brief on higher education in the House and Senate budgets, titled "Higher Education: State Funding Down, Tuition Up." It is available through this link.
Following last week's brief on proposed 2011-13 expenditures in the human services budget area, today we take a look at public schools. (See also this brief for an overview of the House and Senate budget plans.)
That's my subject in today's Everett Herald column.