When then-President Obama signed the bipartisan "Every Student Succeeds Act" into law in late 2015, it marked a significant change in federal education policy. The previous law, President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind," had grown increasingly controversial for what critics on both the left and right called excessive federal overreach into local education policy.
Washington isn't the only state grappling with K-12 education funding issues. On March 2, the Kansas state Supreme Court ruled that the State of Kansas was violating the state constitution by not adequately funding public schools. Sound familiar? The Kansas City Star reports:
In this episode we briefly discuss basic education, which is at the heart of the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling. In that ruling the court said the state is not fulfilling its constitutional "paramount duty" to fully provide for basic education in public schools.
In a new policy brief we discuss Gov. Inslee's plan to comply with the McCleary decision on school funding as well as HB 1843, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month.
In this 90 Seconds episode we briefly discuss the return of Initiative 1351, the voter-approved measure to reduce class sizes in grades K through 12. So far lawmakers have only funded K-3 class-size reductions, citing both budget concerns and research showing smaller class sizes have the most impact in grades K through 3.
This morning, state Senate Republicans (aka the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus) released their plan for fully funding K-12 education and complying with the state Supreme Court McCleary ruling. They are calling it the "Education Equality Act."
You can read the overview and a more detailed list of components below. No legislation is posted yet. We'll provide you with more in-depth analysis soon.
On today's InFocus podcast we're covering the latest news, including our new Policy Brief on business taxation in Washington state. Washington businesses pay 58 percent of state and local taxes, and have some of the highest tax burdens in the country. We also talk about the latest state budget outlook, and problems many school districts are facing with Washington's land-use law, the Growth Management Act.
In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, every year on Feb. 2 residents await the sign of a groundhog - Punxsutawney Phil - to forecast the onset of spring. In the Washington state Legislature, lawmakers and other observers were awaiting a sign yesterday of how much members of the Joint Education Task Force could agree on solutions for full state funding of K-12 education (as required by the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling) in 2017.
On Sept. 20, the state House Local Government Committee held a work session in Olympia to review the Growth Management Act, Washington's comprehensive land-use planning law which has been in effect for 25 years. It was part of a larger effort by the committee to consider changes to the law.
At this meeting, the topics of discussion were: 1) The pros and cons of the GMA, and 2) What works and what doesn't.