State teachers union’s radio ad is one big lie

We’re living in an era of extreme political voices, especially at the national level. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then our state teachers union, the WEA, must be blushing. Ratcheting up the pressure, truth be damned, has been its M.O. for some time now. The group is running newspaper ads and a […]

Teacher shortage? Sort of, but incentive pay could help fix it

That our schools face a teacher shortage is something that has been repeated so often, it’s taken to be true. One new study aimed to quantify the problem. So is there a teacher shortage? Not really. At least, there’s no shortage of teachers generally. But the study did find a dearth of teachers in some […]

On his first day, new state Superintendent picks union over taxpayers

During last fall’s election season, I expressed concern that Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) candidate Chris Reykdal was too close to the state teachers union. He didn’t waste much time confirming it. His first act after being inaugurated this week was to remove his office from an intriguing lawsuit begun by his predecessor regarding school […]

Bright Light award: Judy East

“Every community needs a Judy East,” her nominator told me. “She is the type of person that makes communities stronger, and helps the people in them become better at what they do.” Judy East is a long-time volunteer in her school community, where she’s held many leadership positions. A busy mom of two children, East […]

“Local control” will be one of 2017’s Olympia buzzwords

You’re going to be hearing a lot about local control from the state teachers union, the WEA, in the months ahead. The local control issue is not about the local school board and apple pie and the homecoming dance. It’s about the same thing it always is: money and control. When the Legislature convenes in […]

Parents know best, the WEA thinks it knows better on charter schools

It’s Round 2 of the judicial fight over charter schools in Washington. In a new wrinkle last week, a King County judge tossed several plaintiffs off the case, ruling that they don’t have standing to sue against public charter schools. Now groups like the Aerospace Machinists, the League of Women Voters, El Centro de la […]

Our state election was important too – what will it mean for 2017?

All eyes were on the national election last week, understandably, but our state tallied some important results too. What will they mean for smarter government in 2017? Legislature: When legislators return to the capitol in January to tackle the remaining work on McCleary (realistically this will occupy almost the entirety of the Legislature’s attention), the […]

OSPI candidate “absolutely” sure group he doesn’t know is anti-union

You’ll soon face a choice on your ballot for state Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI). School administrator Erin Jones and Democratic state Rep. Chris Reykdal, both former teachers, were the top two vote-getters in the August primary. You may recall that I’m a bit dubious about the SPI position. I’m not sure it should remain […]

McKenna on KIRO: Schools funding and your property taxes

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the state Supreme Court’s latest hearing in the McCleary education funding case, and the likelihood of changes to your property taxes. Dave Ross: “But then [less wealthy school districts] would get more money for their schools, presumably, than they’re getting now.” Rob McKenna: “Right. Relying on local […]

State’s filing cuts to heart of problem with court’s McCleary approach

You’ve got to hand it to the Attorney General’s Office: its latest filing in the McCleary lawsuit cuts right to the heart of how the Supreme Court has mishandled the case. In 2014 the court found the Legislature in contempt for not having a written “plan” to fully fund K-12 education. Last summer, the court levied sanctions […]