Wednesday, March 5, 2014

E-Wire Special Budget Edition...

The E-Wire is down in Olympia today hunting for clues and reading tea leaves on a variety of bills of interest to PTA members.  Among the concerns – 24 Credit Hours, Career and Technical Education Equivalency Courses, expanding financial resource opportunities for rural schools, and Capital Funding for K-3 Schools. 

Top story today, House passes Supplemental Operating and Transportation Budget which includes more funding for education and teacher salary cost of living increases.  Budget includes closing tax loopholes like this one and a few sticky issues like this one, this one, and this one

There have been some issues with the Majority Coalition Caucus.  The initial rift was over the passage of the Dream Act and dissident members included Senators Benton, Roach, and Holmquist-Newbry.  It got hotter when Senator Jan Angel killed a bill to fund homeless programs and boiled over into a legislative nightmare last evening. 

This pretty little thing hung on the Transportation Budget.  The Amendment was offered by Senator Jamie Pedersen and would require the residents of Medina to pay for any SR 520 Cost Overruns.  Incidentally, in case you didn’t know, Senator Rodney Tom, the Senate Majority Leader, represents Medina.  The E-Wire noted this amendment last night, but didn't give it any note as these things usually are tossed as bombs and don’t go anywhere.

Well, it did

Senator Baumgartner turned around and introduced an amendment to the Pedersen amendment which would have shifted the costs back over to Seattle.  In the end, an agreement was apparently made to withdraw both. But not before it almost led to this.  Senate was back to normal this morning and the Transportation Budget passed last night.

As an FYI, our friends over at The Washington Wire have more on the story which bears reading.  They also give a fun tutorial on the havoc wreaked with the move to 9th Order in the Senate (it’s 8th Order in the House).

Moving forward on Education Goals.

Washington Student Achievement Council is Hosting an Event in Yakima on improving academic success for under-represented groups.

Memos from a bipartisan town hall in Issaquah.

All Puyallup Elementary Schools will offer free All Day K starting this fall.  Sequim, too.

Peter Callaghan dives into the “he said, she said” debate over Title I usage (although Tacoma Schools is probably not the best example of the state as a whole due to their large menu of cutting education programs designed to close opportunity gaps.)

Eva Moskowitz vs. Bill DeBlasio Round II.

Kansas Senate pulls controversial bill targeted at Librarians and Teachers.

Federal Department of Education looking to crack down on For-Profit Colleges.

Seattle School District looks to later start times, but faces challenges in doing so.

Sunnyside kids off to Knowledge Bowl.

In other Sunnyside News, award winning teacher Maria Garcia is named ambassador for Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Common Core Ramps up in Washington.

Parents face challenges in dealing with Seattle Schools Bureaucracy.

And on a final note, the SAT will drop the essay portion of the exam and return to the 1600 point test that you and I were used to taking so long ago...

The E-Wire is written by PTA Legislative Staff and edited by Director Sherry Krainick.  Got a question? Write us!

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