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. . .
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. . . Inslee's staff said he'll spend about 15 minutes outlining his plans, and members of the audience will have a one-page summary with some details. He'll then take questions from the different locations, where monitors will be collecting queries written on note cards from the audience.
The locations were chosen to accommodate large crowds, a spokeswoman said, although no one can be sure how many people will attend. Seating is free, on a first-come basis.
Education spending is likely to be one of the most-discussed topics in the legislative session that begins Jan. 12. The Legislature is under an order from the state Supreme Court to properly fund basic education. Adding, expanding or improving programs, raising teacher salaries and picking up certain costs now born by local districts could add $750 million to $1.2 billion to the two-year budget.
Inslee's budget will be a starting point for the Legislature, but the House and Senate will each develop its own spending plan in an effort to get a compromise that can receive majority support in both chambers and the governor's signature.