“Morally repugnant”? No, it’s simply what rural families need

Too many Washington families are caught in a judicial and bureaucratic limbo thanks to the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. The case is about so much more than water – it’s about, as Madilynne Clark of the Washington Policy Center wrote, “two of the most fundamental necessities – homes and livelihoods.” The court’s decision has […]

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 […]

Legislature’s procrastinating reflects the reality of negotiating

Well, it’s really happening again: the Legislature is now in a third overtime session while lawmakers wrangle over a state budget deal. The prospect of a government shutdown is looming once more. If a budget deal isn’t in place by July 1, many state government functions will screech to a halt. Most still expect legislators […]

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 […]

Teachers unions in districts with unusually high pay are feeling nervous

The local teachers union in Everett is threatening to strike. It’s unfortunate to see this type of threat being raised once again, because it really is the kids who lose out when their instructional year is interrupted for picketing. The reason here may not be obvious, because Everett teachers are some of the best-paid in […]

Evergreen mob shows even minor dissent will get you ostracized

It’s tempting to dismiss some of the more outlandish movements that take hold on college campuses. Most, after all, have no staying power and soon peter out. They deserve our attention all the same. Ideas can outlast the moment, take root, and gain acceptance over time. The American norms we take for granted, including support […]

That’s not right: McCleary isn’t a menu to pick and choose from

Many cheered in 2012 when the state Supreme Court issued its K-12 funding ruling in the McCleary case. Today, some of the groups that hailed it at the time seem to be suffering from selective amnesia. The McCleary decision is a three-legged stool, but that message has been lost. The court ruled that K-12 funding […]

McKenna on KIRO: Can the state ban public mask-wearing?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a bill introduced by state Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) that would prohibit the wearing of masks in public. The legislation is a response to May Day protests and similar situations. “I really believe that people, when they hide their identity, are more likely to commit a crime,” […]

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 […]