Friday, February 21, 2014

E-Wire for 2.21.2014 - The Calm Before The Storm


If you are reading this, we have successfully survived 2/3rds of the legislative session.  At this moment, members are wrapping up last minute details and heading out of Olympia and going home for the weekend.  There, many of them will host town hall discussions with their constituents.  The WA PTA is urging members to take the time to show up to these affairs and chime in on issues involving education – specifically – our mission to fully fund basic education per the McCleary Lawsuit.  Don’t know where to find your town hall?  We got that covered.  Want to send them the message about McCleary?  We got that covered, too!

Today is a light day by legislative standards.  The past two days have been pretty busy with Senate Bills being heard in the House and vice versa.  Director Krainick was joined by several PTA members yesterday making sure our voices were heard.  Check the E-wire below for photos and further information.  While the E-Wire is holed up in an undisclosed location, the rest of the staff at the PTA are wrapping up the final touches for the move to our new offices in the Historic Ford Building on the corner of 13th and Fawcett in downtown Tacoma.  The move will make it more convenient for members needing to come to the offices as it is more centrally located to I-5 and easier to find.  Just get off the freeway and head west a few blocks and boom – you’re there.  Pretty cool.

Yesterday, Director Krainick and I were working with legislators on perfecting legislation that is currently pending in the House.  A few changes are in the offing, and we expect more information to share soon.

With that:  Welcome to the E-Wire

Still more fallout on the Senate’s failure to pass SB 5246.  Some members of the press are really pushing Senate Democrats, dissident Republicans, and Teachers on their messaging.  In the end, this is going to work itself out – but remember, it is an election year folks.  Strap on the seat-belt and get ready for a short, fast ride.

The Everett Herald gives Breakfast after the Bell some love.

Larry Seaquist’s Pay It Forward College Tuition legislation is quite cool.

Spokesman Review occasionally gets a little testy on public disclosure.  This is their most recent offing.

Director Krainick testified on this bill yesterday and it elicited warm responses from legislators. 

Continuing changes in student discipline.  While we are on the subject, the final installment of the 6 part series from the Kitsap Sun on the changes in student disciplinary practices.

Obesity Bill Stalls – but King County Schools are ahead of the curve.

Testing for teen depression through saliva screening? 

Well, at least Colorado is getting it right on education funding.  We’re not… yet.

Richland School Board Members share their hostility towards the State Board of Education as two new members are installed from the region.  Welcome aboard!

Bill to allow part time faculty to form a separate union gets push-back.

Data collection is key to closing the opportunity gap as we utilize it to spend scarce resources wisely.  However, this will always be a challenge.  Bets on we address this next session…

You’ll probably be hearing more of this, too.

What would an e-wire be without references to Common Core?  Sometimes serious and thought provoking other times, well… not.

Have a good weekend, folks.  See you Monday.  Enjoy the town halls!


  1. When the legislative listserv was shut down, the discussion was supposed to continue on this blog. There are no comments on any of these posts, so I’m wondering where the discussion has gone.

    1. Zara, Thank you for taking the steps to post your comments. It is a different format for PTA and will take time to drive discussion to the blog. Thank you for being a trail blazer.

  2. Also, you might make it easier to comment by using a different sign-in method (create a site-specific account and log-in?). I may be a Luddite, but I find it more difficult to do it through these other accounts. I’ve never liked this format. Maybe that’s just me….

    1. Thank you for your comments regarding the posting process. PTA is in a process of reviewing and updating technology. Please bear with us in using this process for now. New technologies will be installed in June/July that may improve these processes.

  3. These summaries are excellent overall and ongoing information. What might be even more useful - at least for legislation chairs who need to provide short summaries for newsletters and board meetings - would be periodic overall summaries of the session and pending legislation that affect PTA priorities. I'm hearing that it is difficult to fill this position, so let's make it as easy as possible to be the conduit for legislative information. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for your comments Silje. The session is moving very rapidly. Bills need to be out of committee by Friday, February 28. We are following the bills closely (there is a list of the bills here on the Grassroots blog). We expect to have many more action alerts between now and the end of the session which is March 13.