Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Inslee to hold internet town hall on education

 OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee will take his plans for public schools to the public, in Rogers High School and three other locations, via Skype tonight.

With large screens set in the schools to carry the online video-phone connection, Inslee will unveil his proposals for the state to meet court orders to improve public schools, along with other education and public college initiatives for he will will include in his upcoming 2015-17 state budget. He will then take questions from audiences in four locations. 

He'll be live at Newport High School in Bellevue for one hour, starting at 6 p.m., and carried via Skype to the Rogers Commons, the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center in Moses Lake and the Jason Lee Middle School Auditorium in Tacoma. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Inslee signs most of ‘disappointing’ budget

OLYMPIA – The ink from his signature wasn’t even dry on the Legislature's current budget before Gov. Jay Inslee was challenging lawmakers to do more on their next one.

Inslee signed the state’s supplemental operating budget, vetoing some elements such as a section that would have ended the Life Sciences Discovery Fund.

Overall, he called it a budget with “modest adjustments” in many programs and disappointing on education.

“It does not make sufficient progress on the state’s paramount duty to schools,” he said.

Legislators are also disappointed, but more with Inslee’s characterization of their final work product that passed the Senate 48-1 and the House 85-13. Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, said the spending plan, as a supplement to last year’s two-year budget that added almost $1 billion to public schools, was supposed to make modest adjustments.

But it keeps the state in the black, financially, through this fiscal period and the next, Braun said.

“There were a lot of tough decisions that had to be made,” he said… .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the blog.

Budget deal released

OLYMPIA — A supplemental budget that raises no taxes, offers no new tax loopholes and provides no state-funded raises for teachers is expected to be pushed through the Legislature today on a fast track.

Budget negotiators unveiled their negotiated spending plan to the public at lunchtime, using words like "modest", "stable" and "pretty small."

It will send an extra $58 million to public schools around the state for books and supplies. It will spend an extra $25 million on Opportunity Scholarships for college students, $22 million on mental health services and $4 million to expand prison capacity.

But some items that prompted major political arguments over the last two months are not in the budget. There is no cost-of-living adjustment for public school teachers, something Democrats in both chambers said they wanted. There are no new taxes, or increases of existing taxes, that would have paid for those raises. There are no major new or extended tax exemptions, which were supported by Republicans.

It is a traditional supplemental budget, legislators said, making small adjustments in the two-year spending plan approved in 2013 after two extensions to that legislative session. It is unlike recent supplemental budgets, which were essentially rewrites of previous spending plans made inoperable because of changing revenue estimates in the recession.

And it leaves until next year a  major fight over public schools, which the Legislature is under a state Supreme Court mandate to improve. The Legislature will need to come up with at least $2.2 billion for school programs, and perhaps another $1 billion for school employee wages, for the 2015-17 biennium to satisfy that court order. 

The budget is scheduled to be put to a vote in the House late this afternoon and be sent to the Senate for a vote later in the evening. That means the Legislature will suspend several rules that allow time for the public to see legislation, and for members to read and consider it.

 

WA Lege Day 44: Senate Dems offer education tax package

OLYMPIA — A day after some of their members showed support for a no new taxes budget "update" with few changes to existing state spending plans, Senate Democrats unveiled a more ambitious, and politically difficult — proposal to end four tax breaks and raise $100 million for schools.

Their hope: in the 16 days left in the session — or some time before an April 30 deadline to tell the state Supreme Court how the Legislature plans to improve state schools — they can get both houses to settle on this plan or something close to it. They'd give teachers a cost-of-living raise, give schools more money for books, labs and heating bills, speed up the move to all-day kindergarten and shrink the size of Second Grade classes in high poverty areas. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog. 

 

Ad: Allred Raps Otter On Ed, Taxes

In his latest post, Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman writes: “In his latest TV ad, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred conflates two of his main campaign talking points. He criticizes Republican Gov. Butch Otter for presiding over a $128 million budget cut to public schools, while pushing a tax increase.” He writes more here. And then asks whether the message is on point.

Question: Is the criticism leveled by Democrat Keith Allred about Gov. Butch Otter in this ad legitimate?

Trib: Gem State Isn’t Poor, It’s Cheap

Where would you rather educate your children? Mississippi or Idaho? Ridiculous question, right? The Magnolia State is America’s perennial last-place finisher. As bleak as Idaho’s prospects ever got, it could always count on Mississippi to bring up the rear.Except, it turns out, when it comes to spending money on its schools. On that score, it’s the Gem State that is dangerously close to winning the dubious prize. Only Utah spends less per pupil. Moreover, those numbers don’t take into account the decision of Idaho Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter and the Republican-controlled Legislature to scale back public school spending by nearly $130 million this year/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Do you believe that the state of Idaho is too poor to spend more on education? Or too cheap?

Idaho 49th In Education Spending

Item: Idaho near the bottom in education spending/Bill Roberts, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Idaho ranks near the bottom of the country in the amount of money it spends per student on public elementary and secondary education, a new study shows. Idaho ranked 49th, trailed only by Utah, in 2007-08, according to the study from the U.S. Census Bureau. The state put in $6,931 per student that year. Utah spent $5,765. New York spent the most: $17,173. When the states are ranked based on every $1,000 of personal income, Idaho rises to 41st. Utah is 25th. New York is fifth.

Question: Surprised?