education

Lisa Rathke / Associated Press

Washington state officials announced their plan Monday for how to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Esmy Jimenez / Northwest Public Radio

During this back-to-school season, there is one persistent issue: classroom diversity. Students of color make up half of Washington classrooms, but public school teachers are overwhelmingly white.

Andrew Selsky / Associated Press

An Oregon initiative aimed at funding programs at public high schools passed the state senate Thursday. The statewide teachers union argued Measure 98 was an unfunded mandate: $290 million of worthy goals without a funding source.

The Oregon House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that aims to prevent so-called “lunch shaming” in Oregon Schools.

OREGONDOT / FLICKR

 

The Oregon Senate sent a handful of education-related bills to the governor’s desk Tuesday morning. One of them allows parents to hold their children back from kindergarten for an extra year.

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The Oregon Senate passed a bill Tuesday that will make graduation easier for students who are homeless, in foster care or come from military families.

Budget writers at the Oregon Legislature are warning of deep cuts to health care and education. The Democrats in charge of putting together a two-year spending plan released a list of potential cuts Monday.

Education advocates made their case for increased school funding in front of Oregon lawmakers Thursday. The subcommittee that focuses on education heard testimony from people who want lawmakers to boost K-12 funding from the $7.8 billion proposed in a preliminary budget framework.

Washington state school districts will not go over the so-called “levy cliff.” At least not next year. The state House Thursday sent the governor a bipartisan measure to extend current levy capacity for another year.

Washington lawmakers are under a court order to fully fund K-12 education. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that it’s their top priority. But a measure to officially “fund education first” in the state budget failed Wednesday.

Associated Press / AP Images

In his State of the State address this afternoon, Governor Butch Otter backed up his commitment to further invest in higher education by pledging millions to colleges around the state.

Courtesy of the Governor's Office

Schools are on the Oregon ballot in a big way. The corporate tax initiative, Measure 97, would raise billions - much of it for schools. Scan down a little further and Measure 98 would direct state funding to high school programs - dropout prevention, college readiness and career training. It would not raise taxes. But as Rob Manning reports, Measure 98 is raising some concerns. 

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Oregon’s scores on the SAT college entrance exam continue to outpace the national average. More Oregon students are taking the SAT college entrance exam, and scores continue to outpace the national average. The context for Tuesday's scores is complicated.

Alberto G. / Flickr

Parents in Washington state may notice another measurement along with their students’ state test scores. The student growth percentile (SGP) is meant to compare a child’s learning to their peers, but critics say it may not work.

It’s back to school time. It was also back to court Wednesday for lawyers in an ongoing school funding lawsuit in Washington state.

Just as the school year begins, the Washington state Supreme Court will get an update Wednesday on school funding efforts in the state legislature. Tuesday, a panel of lawmakers got an earful.

Now that an initiative that aims to increase Oregon's high school graduation rate has qualified for the ballot, backers are rolling out details of their campaign.

Alberto G. / FLICKR

    

Public comment opens this week on federal education rules that could affect everything from money for Oregon schools to the role of standardized tests.

Students and parents with kids soon heading to a state college or university have reason to pay attention to the Washington and Idaho legislatures this coming month.

If you want to go to college to learn how to design, build, fly or fix a drone, your time has come. Many institutions of higher learning around the Northwest are recognizing that unmanned aircraft could become a key technology of the future.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

Many Washington students are graduating high school with little to no idea about how to handle their money. Experts say that could lead students down a path of debt and stress. That’s why some people are trying to teach high school students better ways to deal with personal finances now.

Harvey Barrison / Flickr

The State Supreme Court is ratcheting up pressure on the legislature to fix problems with how the state funds public schools.  Justices have announced they’ll fine the state $100,000 a day until lawmakers lay out a complete plan to close the McCleary school funding case. 

Lawmakers in Olympia are in a special session to finalize the Washington state budget. Some teachers’ unions have decided to walk out for a day to appeal for more money in the K-12 budget.

Credit Franz Jantzen / Supreme Court Website

  

Washington lawmakers are already days into a special session, but they still need to deal with a court mandate to fund basic education.

Lawmakers met today to discuss options. They’re torn between competing plans to give more funding to schools.

In the McCleary decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature was not fulfilling its constitutional obligation to fully fund education.Lawmakers need to find a way to do that before 2019. 

Republican Senator Bruce Dammeier says lawmakers have unfairly burdened school districts.

Benjamin Chun / Flickr

The top education official in Washington State said teachers could face investigation and schools could lose funding - if the number of students refusing standardized tests keeps rising. 

Washington superintendent Randy Dorn doesn't like the phrase "opt-out."

"It's really a refusal to take an assessment that's required by the federal government," Dorn said.

He said low participation rates could cost schools federal money.

Idaho Governor Signs Bill To Boost Teacher Pay

Apr 2, 2015

Idaho teachers could start seeing raises as soon as next fall after Governor Butch Otter signed a pay plan known as the “career ladder” into law Thursday.

Idaho school districts say the state needs to offer better pay if it’s going to attract qualified teachers -- or keep the ones it has.

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Idaho parents who don’t want their child to have to pass the state’s standardized test for graduation would be able to opt-out under a bill in the state Senate.

Students would instead be allowed to go through an alternative assessment developed by districts.

Republican Senator Steven Thayne is sponsoring the bill.

“There are some parents that are very concerned by more and more testing. And one reason we’re bringing this bill forward is we’re trying to give a voice to those parents who have concerns,” Thayne said.

albertogp123 / Flickr

Oregon's House Education Committee heard testimony Monday on high-stakes exams. A work group of teachers and administrators has recommended less emphasis on end-of-year state exams and more focus on classroom-level assessments.

One House bill would delay using the new "Smarter Balanced" exam results to judge schools and teachers. Another would make it easier to opt out of the tests. Portland parent and teacher Elizabeth Thiel argued that bill should go further - and prohibit sanctions against schools like hers, where students are opting out.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Starting salary for Idaho teachers is lower than in Washington, Oregon, and three other surrounding states. Superintendents in Idaho border towns say that’s left them with shortages. Idaho lawmakers in both parties want to raise teacher salaries during the legislative session.

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