Tuesday, January 14, 2014

E Wire - 1/14/2014

It’s Day #2 in the legislative session!  House and Senate committees are scheduling their final work sessions before the bills that hit the hopper over the holidays are heard in committee.  Both the House and Senate Education Committees will be hearing bills tomorrow. 

The 8AM House Education hearing will feature legislation that will attempt to get a handle on the student privacy questions that were brought forth by this NPR article last month.  http://kuow.org/post/state-deal-give-media-organizations-student-data-alarms-privacy-experts  House Bill 2133 by Representative Scott is scheduled for hearing – no word on possible amendments or an executive session yet.  The bill's scope goes beyond privacy issues, however, and is likely to change substantially before passing committee.

In the Senate, there are several versions of bills concerning teacher and principal evaluations.  As you may recall, the state was informed by the Department of Education that our waiver is in jeopardy unless we make changes to require student assessments become part of the teacher / principal evaluations.  The loss of the waiver would result in stricter controls over spending grant dollars from the Federal Government.  The Washington Education Association opposes the change – more on their interpretation here http://ourvoicewashingtonea.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ESEA-Bkgrnd-TP-final.pdf 

Yesterday, the session kicked off with House Speaker Frank Chopp defiantly leading the chamber in voting the DREAM Act out with strong bipartisan support (71-23) and sending a message to the Senate that he intended to address the need for additional funding for schools.  WEA was out in force with 115 teachers lobbying support for a Cost of Living Adjustment Bill.  47 Sponsors in the House signed on in support which included Republicans Larry Haler (Tri Cities), Cary Condotta (Wenatchee)and Dick Muri (Steilacoom).  Hearings in the House focused on reviewing interim projects and ongoing studies required by law.  See our recent post on yesterday’s activities for the hand-outs from the meeting.

Low Wage jobs still dominate the economy of Whatcom, but they are not expanding much

Congressman Denny Heck urges changes in housing market rules to jump-start economy

Issaquah Schools urging teens to take a digital holiday (cel phones, at least)

Kitsap teachers join the fight in Olympia over wages

Ellensburg School District expands Early Learning Program

Spokesman Review Editorial has a take on the Supreme Court’s recent statements on McCleary

Seattle Times urges a state education plan

The Dream Act passes the House with flying colors, and promptly dies in the Senate

The Olympian reminds us that we will be seeing a lot of this in the next 60 days

Representative Warnick will be focusing on small business issues this year

While Representative Manweller will set his sights on access to publically owned lands

And McCleary parameters issued by the court prevents a quiet session

The Governor’s State of the State is going on right now

And Senator King from Yakima has a few questions for him on a possible low carbon executive order

The Charter School Tour hits Seattle and Tacoma

House Bill 2086 by teacher/legislator Representative Steve Bergquist bans smoking in a car with minors present – hearing this week

More on the Federal Unemployment front

New research shows some success for kids in welfare programs
Low math scores an early indicator of potential college success

Challenges and confusion in Alabama’s voucher system

Tennessee Legislature challenges Common Core

Federal Education Bills going nowhere

Good news for Head Start, Title I, and Special Education in new Federal Budget

US House Subcommittee on Research and Technology hears testimony on private institutions helping push STEM readiness

Wisconsin looks into rural educator retention
The Washington Post asks – “are our  teacher education programs a disaster?

And finally, an interesting, if not frightening statistic.  School violence led to 90,000 emergency room visits last year

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