education

The Democratic-controlled Oregon Senate is scheduled to act Monday on the largest single portion of the state spending plan: Money for K-12 schools. But there's a chance the vote will be delayed. That's because a single Democrat has come out against the proposal, throwing a monkey wrench into the process.

This would be the second time the schools budget is held over to another day. With less than two weeks left before the scheduled adjournment, Democratic state Senator Chris Edwards continues to hold out for more money for schools.

Across the Northwest, students are wrapping up their school year. By the time Idaho high school students return in the fall, their classrooms will be on their way to becoming wireless hotspots. The Idaho Department of Education is preparing to spend more than $2 million to put high-speed wireless Internet in all public high schools.

It's part of what Idaho education officials like to call the “21st Century Classroom.” They're asking for bids over the summer on a contract to have WiFi up and running across the state by March 2014.

High school students across Washington will be learning how to save a life, starting next fall. A new law requires schools to teach basic C-P-R in health classes. Governor Jay Inslee signed the measure into law. The main advocates were with the American Heart Association, including volunteer Eric Rothenberg who survived cardiac arrest because a bystander performed CPR on him. Rothenberg says the new mandate means more people will be willing to use chest compressions:

Oregon lawmakers want to give students the chance to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

Central Washington Teacher Wins National Honor

Apr 22, 2013
Chris VanAntwerp / Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The National Teacher of the Year hails from the small Washington town of Zillah. Jeff Charbonneau will be honored at the White House tomorrow. 

Washington Dream Act Unlikely to Clear Senate

Apr 2, 2013

Supporters of the so-called Washington Dream Act plan to make one more uphill push in Olympia Tuesday. The measure would extend state financial aid to eligible college students who are in the US illegally. Hopes for the bill dwindled this weekend as a key state senator spoke out against the measure. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On the campaign trail, Washington Governor Jay Inslee talked about financing education by growing the economy. Now the Democrat proposes to raise $1.2 billion for schools by extending some tax increases and ending some tax breaks.

In Spokane last June I moderated the first gubernatorial debate between Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna. And I put this question to both candidates: if elected, would you ask voters to support a new tax for schools to respond to the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling that the state is not adequately funding education.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s an idea that’s catching on around the country: give school principals the power to reject a teacher assigned to their building. Giving principals veto power has already passed the Washington Senate. But at a public hearing in the House Friday the idea faced opposition – and not just from teachers.

In the education documentary “Waiting For Superman” they talk about the dance of the lemons.

Waiting For Superman: “Principals have their lemons. These are teachers who are chronically bad: they know it, the other teachers know it …”

Washington Senate Majority Wants More Higher Ed Funding

Mar 19, 2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The mostly Republican majority in the Washington state Senate want to spend an extra $300 million on higher education. Tuesday, Republican budget-writers unveiled a plan that would increase money universities receive and fully fund the state’s prepaid tuition program.

Oregon Universities Fastest-Growing In Nation

Mar 6, 2013

Enrollment in Oregon’s public universities has grown faster than those in any other state in the country. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, Rob Manning has more on a new national study.

The latest state budget plans released Monday in Salem are drawing mixed reviews from the education community.

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon legislature's chief budget writers released their proposed two-year spending plan Monday. The two Democrats in charge of drawing up the budget outline say all of the numbers are subject to negotiation. But state Senator Richard Devlin and state Representative Peter Buckley say it will be hard to persuade them to lower the $6.75 billion they've set aside for K-12 education.

Lawmakers Examine Use Of School Seclusion Cells

Mar 4, 2013
Photo by Chris Lehman. / Northwest News Networ

When kids get severely out of control in class, some schools place the students in a "seclusion cell." It's sort of a "time-out" room where kids can calm down without posing a risk to themselves or others. A measure moving through the Oregon legislature would ban the use of the starkest version of these cells. But some mental health advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Education Groups Hail Supermajority Ruling

Mar 1, 2013

Education groups led the charge to strike down the two-thirds vote requirement to raise taxes in the Washington state Legislature.

The Northwest's public universities pull in massive amounts of federal research dollars. It totaled $1 billion last year at the University of Washington. Oregon State University won close to $200 million in federal research funds. The University of Idaho is counting on $100 million this year. So it's no surprise that university administrators are hanging on every scrap of news about imminent automatic federal budget cuts.

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon House has approved a controversial bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state college tuition rates. Supporters called Friday’s vote historic. But not very many students are expected to actually take advantage of the measure.

SALEM, Ore. – Supporters of a bill to allow some undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition rates packed several hearing rooms at the Oregon Capitol Wednesday. They refer to the legislation as “tuition equity.” A House committee held a public hearing on the issue.

Among those to testify was Karla Castaneda, a junior at Parkrose High School in Portland.

Jimmy Emerson
Flickr

Momentum is building in Salem for a bill to give children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition rates at Oregon universities. Gov. John Kitzhaber threw his weight behind the idea Monday.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Democrats in the Washington Senate are on the attack over a series of Republican-backed education reform measures. At a news conference Friday, the Democrats accused Republicans of getting boilerplate legislation from a corporate-backed education foundation run by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Democrat Andy Billig serves on the Senate K-12 committee. He highlighted two specific proposals: letter grades for schools and holding back struggling third graders.

Do We Still Need To Learn Cursive?

Jan 29, 2013
National Archives

Cursive handwriting may soon go the way of the card catalog and the film projector. Schools are moving to new curriculum standards that put more emphasis on typing skills. But not everyone is ready for the cursive alphabet to become a relic. The Idaho legislature is considering a statewide cursive mandate.

Northwest News Network

One of the key battles shaping up in Olympia this year is over education reform. The Senate’s new majority coalition is proposing a series of measures aimed at getting better results in the classroom. Among the ideas: a state takeover of failing schools.

Idaho's Hispanic Education Gap Shrinks

Jan 18, 2013

Idaho is starting to see the education gap narrow for Latino students. That's according to the state's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Idaho’s school system.

The commission's director Margie Gonzalez told a legislative panel the days of double digit drop-out rates for Hispanic kids are gone. More Latinos are enrolling in college. And last month, a national assessment of vocabulary showed huge gains among Hispanic students in Idaho.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In her final state of the state speech, outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire urged lawmakers to fund schools and roads. The two-term Democrat delivered her farewell address Tuesday to a joint session of the legislature.

Gregoire told the assembled legislators they should come up with an additional $1 billion for schools in the next budget to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling.

“There is no free lunch," the governor said. "We cannot cut our way out of this. We cannot save our way out of this.”

Teacher morale is low throughout Idaho. And school administrators have serious concerns about recruiting and retaining teachers. As Adam Cotterell reports, those are some of the findings from a new study presented to lawmakers Tuesday.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / Northwest News Network

Eliminate a tax on business, build a new mental health facility for prisoners, start a state run health insurance exchange: all things Governor Butch Otter said he wanted to do in his annual State of the State address Monday. But as Adam Cotterell reports, Otter says one thing trumps them all.

Photo by Virginia Alvino / Northwest News Network

Oregon high school students would be required to learn CPR to get a diploma, under a bill being considered by state lawmakers. A group of students were in Salem Wednesday to lobby on the issue. Virginia Alvino reports.

U.S. Department of Education website

Oregon learned Thursday it’s getting more than $20 million from the federal government to improve preschool education.

OPB News

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber firmly put the ball in the court of Oregon lawmakers when he released his two-year budget proposal Friday. The spending plan relies on savings gained from potentially controversial changes to the state's pension and public safety systems.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Idaho’s school districts are beginning to understand what the repeal of the Student’s Come First education laws will mean for them financially. Voters repealed those laws earlier this month through ballot Propositions 1, 2 and 3. The repeal restores some funding the laws took away. That means a few districts will get more money. The Lake Pend Oreille, Coeur D’Alene, Lewiston and Lapwai districts will all come out ahead.

Idaho high school students won't have to take online classes to graduate. The State Board of Education repealed a rule Monday that required them. Voters rejected the Students Come First laws on November 6 but one of those laws had a twist. It required the board of education to set the online class requirement, which it did.

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