Monday, January 20, 2014

E-Wire - 1/20/2014

Dear Friends,

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Throughout Washington, there are great celebrations occurring to mark the holiday bearing his name.  The E-Wire is particularly partial to the events in Tacoma which usually has a great collection of contemporary talent and, when I am not in legislative session, I can be found there.  Today, however, the legislature is in session and Director Krainick and I are meeting with legislators and attending the public hearing on behalf of paraeducator development.  The discussion should be fascinating since it is a widely unknown fact that in Washington State, paraeducators account for over 50% of the face time for ELL and Special Ed Students.  On another front, the holiday means student lobbyists from High Schools and Colleges are populating the halls, talking to legislators on issues ranging from access to education to bills supported by Planned Parenthood.  Check back later today for a report on the hearing.

Legislators were quite busy last week – the lobbyist refrain in the corridors of the Capitol reflected “this session was far more intense the first wee than last session.  The E-Wire remembers hearing that very same exclamation the previous session, and the one before that, and the…..  Still, the volume of education related and whole child bills that were introduced literally shut down this office as we scrambled to review bills for the Regional Legislative Chairs to submit for board endorsement this weekend.  So, on behalf of the E-Wire, I apologize for going dark on Thursday and Friday.  Judging from today’s entries, things are slowing down enough to prevent that from happening again this cycle.

Two big education related bills cleared the house last week.  The first was the DREAM Act which flew out of the House on the first day of legislative session with a commanding bipartisan majority.  The second one, HB 1043, would revoke differential tuition setting authority currently held by state universities and colleges.  Our state system received the ability a few years ago to charge higher rates for expensive science and mathematics programs for the baccalaureate degrees.  This has proven to be a mistake and has had a negative effect in attracting college bound Washingtonians from pursuing STEM degrees which we desperately need in our economy.  The bill passed the House by a wide margin yet again, and has been referred to Higher Education in the Senate.  No word if it has been scheduled for a hearing.

Sometime in the next day or so, the E-Wire will have a rundown of Education and Whole Child Bills that are currently introduced and pending in the legislature.  But for now, catch up time!

Columbian says yes to more money for schools but no to COLA’s for teachers

Parenting Class in Seattle discuss academics, cultural awareness and bullying

Fatality Reviews Legislation for Child Care Facilities moves forward

Ross Hunter asks, “Can They Do Better?”

Publicoa has a wrap up of the recent T/PEP Senate Education Committee meeting – scroll to the bottom for Senator  Baumgardner’s response to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on McCleary

Addressing the Health Care Provider shortfall by expanding career paths for nurses

Eastside Catholic debates continue

Senator McAuliffe begins the discussion on class size reduction – House version likely to follow

Washington Post Blog comes out with their “real ed reform” agenda

NEA Rates members of congress

All 50 states utilize testing for some form of accountability

Teach for America spinoff “Leadership for Educational Equity” grows exponentially

Low Income Students still trail in college enrollments

How to get kids excited about reading

Not so bad –American textbooks more rigorous than South Korea’s

The True Value of Higher Education – and why we need to promote it

Hear former Supreme Court Justice and State Senator Phil Talmadge speak out on McCleary

Enumclaw Schools face issues with teens and Twitter
The High Tech of School Security

A look at education in the future

The E-Wire had fire drills while kids today have lockdown drills

Litzow’s response to Supreme Court response to McCleary

And Senator Litzow’s doubles down on early learning opportunities

Senator Patty Murray has dreams of her own

Communities can restrict Marijuana Sales according to AG
And the Liquor Board’s response

More Bertha troubles – the finger pointing starts and the question of “who pays” still hasn’t been answered. 

GMO Labeling loses at ballot box, starts up again in the legislature

Representative introduces faith healing bill geared to prevent parents from utilizing faith measures over medical care for children

Eastern Washington School Districts face overcrowding with different measures

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