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 […]

State Superintendent sues districts for funding basic education?

It looks like one of those double-take-inducing man-bites-dog stories. The state’s top schools official is suing seven large schools districts for spending money on education? Randy Dorn, the outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction, filed suit last week against seven school districts for spending local levy money in impermissible ways. Much of that impermissible spending goes […]

Supreme Court’s McCleary oversight has complicated rather than clarified

It’s the single biggest issue facing state government, the one thing on which not just K-12 but all parts of the state budget hinge. You’d think, then, that the challenges facing legislators in meeting the McCleary decision are as clear as day. Instead, they’re about as clear as mud. How much will legislators need to […]

Moving to statewide teacher bargaining is the only rational choice

We’re probably all a little sick of reading about the McCleary education funding case. It remains, however, the issue in state government, looming over everything the governor and legislature do or want to do. At SGW we’ve been pretty clear about the elements we believe are necessary to finally put the McCleary issue to rest. […]

Gregoire: “throwing money” at schools won’t solve crisis

“Former Gov. Christine Gregoire said the state’s education crisis won’t be solved simply by ‘throwing money’ at it,” the Yakima Herald-Republic reports. Gregoire visited Yakima to speak to a Rotary group in her role as head of Challenge Seattle. That point might seem obvious, but it’s been lost in the debate over funding the state’s […]

Computer science push, backed by Microsoft, aims at skills gap

When I was campaigning around the state in 2011 and 2012, I heard from many employers, especially manufacturers and tech leaders, who told me they had open jobs they couldn’t fill. So many applicants for those jobs didn’t have the skills and training that matched the job. Meanwhile, worthwhile jobs sat empty. You could dismiss […]

McKenna on KIRO: Bellevue High football investigation

KIRO 97.3’s Dave Ross asked Rob about the WIAA’s investigation of Bellevue High School’s football program over allegations of recruiting and other issues. Dave Ross: “But they didn’t go to Bellevue High School, they went to this Academic Institute, which was a private establishment, and in some cases, at least the allegation is, that their […]