McCleary comes to a close: Levy swap prevails, funding now fairer

What a long, strange journey it has been. 11 years after it was filed, the McCleary education funding case wound to a close this week. Since the state Supreme Court first ruled on the case in 2012, it has been the Sword of Damocles dangling over state government. I did not agree with the court’s […]

It’s my privilege to stand up for charter schools and students

Politicians tend to overuse some phrases. “It’s such an honor” to be part of this, “it’s a privilege” to do that. So considering I’m a recovering politician, you might wonder if I’ve lapsed into saying things that sound rote. But I mean it sincerely when I say it’s a great honor and privilege to represent […]

Hopeful kids and families a contrast to union’s cynical suit against charters

It was quite a scene in Walla Walla last week. There was a food truck, music, and balloons. And there were smiles, on a Friday night, from kids who are already looking ahead to the next school year with excitement. What was it? Well, it was a “signing event” for students joining Walla Walla’s new […]

State tax increases: There’s simply no need

It happens every year: Work in Olympia on the state budget doesn’t really get underway until the revenue forecast comes out. Then, lawmakers have a clearer idea of how much money they have to work with and can set their negotiating strategies. The latest revenue forecast came out Thursday, and it’s all positive news. In […]

2018 Legislature: The “don’t expect too much” session

Gov. Jay Inslee already rolled out his supplemental budget proposal and laid out his legislative priorities for 2018. He wants a carbon tax, and he wants a quick ramp-up of teacher salaries. Legislative leaders…well, they’re not really leaping to embrace Inslee’s agenda. I’m not talking about Republican legislative leaders; there would be nothing surprising about […]

McKenna on KIRO: Is Harvard biased against Asians? Feds investigating

Listen here http://traffic.libsyn.com/rossmckenna/Ross_Mckenna_12-14.mp3   KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a Dept. of Justice investigation into whether Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants. Dave Ross: “Has Harvard actually been doing this, Rob?” Rob McKenna: “Well that’s what the investigation is designed to determine. There was a coalition of Asian-American organizations who filed a complaint […]

McKenna on KIRO: Is the McCleary case finally over?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the latest state Supreme Court hearing on the McCleary education funding case that has roiled state government for over five years. Justices asked tough questions of both sides in Tuesday’s hearing. Dave Ross: “The other thing is, critics point out that while the state is providing more […]

Standing up for free speech on campus and against the speech police

There’s at least one upside to this era of political turmoil and partisan churn: It is certainly offering a lot of opportunities to discuss free speech. It’s unfortunate that even football is a source for division instead of unity now. But after the initial shock of the tit-for-tat between the president and NFL players – […]

Logic prevails: Legislators go with a levy swap

After all that – the years of court hearings, legislative debates, campaign promises and contempt fines – the Legislature’s main McCleary solution is (drumroll please): A levy swap. Hey, that sounds familiar. Not that the ultimate budget package had anything to do with the 2012 campaign. Legislators chose the property tax swap because there is […]

Behind the Evergreen story: “equity justification” for new hires

I’ve touched already on some of the “silliness” taking place at Olympia’s The Evergreen State College. I use that term because of the lack of intellectual seriousness undergirding much of the turmoil on campus. But the results of that silliness are nothing to laugh at. While yelling, phoned threats, and roving students armed with bats […]