Reframing the education funding debate: Time to move the goalposts?

Give former state Sen. Jim Kastama credit for his op-ed in today's Seattle Times. Kastama says what few others have said publicly. He takes a look at the legislative history of ESHB 2261, the legislation setting school funding goals that have become the state Supreme Court's standard for full funding of basic education in the McCleary decision. And he concludes the legislation is not affordable.

Governor's proposed capital gains tax: Considering possible negative consequences


As Kriss wrote yesterday, the governor's budget includes a new capital gains tax  (link to detail on governor's web page is currently down). The essence:

Governor proposes $12 billion transportation plan fueled largely by new carbon fee (or is it a tax?)

Gov. Inslee launched the 2015 transportation finance debate yesterday, unveiling an ambitious plan and introducing a new "cap and trade" program. From the news release:

Rather than raise the gas tax on all motorists, the plan would be funded largely through fees and bonding as well as on a new carbon pollution charge. Sources of major transportation-related pollution, such as the oil and gas industry, will pay a charge for every ton of carbon they emit into the air.

Governor proposes $2.3 billion education package, doesn't fund I-1351 class size reduction

Gov. Jay Inslee launched his extended budget rollout by focusing on education. This is, of course, the fun part of the rollout, talking about what the new spending will buy before having to get to the grit of new taxes. It's, well, let's just use the governor's own characterization,

Inslee proposes boldest new efforts in improving full continuum of education in 2 decades

It is ambitious, going beyond what's required by McCleary but stopping short of I-1351.

State budget must invest wisely in education: Yes to STEM, No to I-1351 Class Size Measure

This week Gov. Jay Inslee rolls out his 2015-2017 budget proposals. Education funding will take center stage, driven by the state Supreme Court's McCleary mandate and voter-approved (narrowly) class size reduction Initiative 1351.

Transportation funding, climate change and the electric car tax incentive ... skeptics want to tap the brake

Gov. Jay Inslee believes electric cars are good for the state and good for the planet. And he's looking for ways to promote them.

...Inslee wants to extend a sales-tax break for electric vehicles and explore giving them access to carpool lanes...[Also, he] said he wants to install more charging stations and create incentives for builders to include high-speed charging in projects.

Battle over education waivers continues here; Oklahoma waiver reinstated. Higher education fighting back.

The Associated Press reports that the coming legislative session will likely feature a continuation of the No Child Left Behind battles that cost districts control of some $38 million in federal funding. Here's the crux:

At issue during the 2014 legislative session was whether to require that student scores on statewide tests be used as one of many factors to evaluate teachers and principals.

Making the most of education investment: maintain standards, target early learning, scrap 1351

The headline summarizes some recent editorial observations. And nicely comports with budget realities.

The News Tribune takes a strong editorial stand in support of academic accountability.

At a time when the world is demanding more of high school graduates, Washington’s public schools shouldn’t be demanding less.

High stakes in West Coast ports contract dispute

In the Seattle Times, AWB president Kris Johnson and Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruits Association, underscore the urgency in resolving the contract dispute between West Coast dockworkers unions and the Pacific Maritime Association.

Given our dependence on ports for nearly all industries — imports and exports — the slowdown could ultimately impact already-stressed state and local budgets.

Washington ranks No. 8 in latest Forbes "best states for business" rankings

In Forbes magazine's 2014 Best States for Business, Washington finishes in 8th place. Not bad in the 50 state field. Win, place and show go to Utah, North Dakota and North Carolina, respectively.