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Gov. Chris Gregoire explains proposals for education and higher education at a press conference Wednesday.
OLYMPIA — All of Washington's education systems and programs, from preschool through graduate degrees at universities, should be working together and overseen by a single office, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday.
Gregoire proposed creating the cabinet position of Secretary of Education — appointed by the governor and approved by the Legislature — and placing responsibility for the many “silos” of education at all age levels into that office. That would include the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a constitutionally mandated official, elected by voters every four years, just as the governor is.
The state could eliminate the elective position, or keep it and have the OSPI report to the Education Secretary, Gregoire said at a morning press conference. “I'm comfortable either way.”
The current occupant of that office, Randy Dorn, is not comfortable with the idea. Wednesday afternoon he suggested it was a power grab by the governor…