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Korsmo's news roundup: Say it with me!

It has been far too long since last we exchanged edu-info. And while you know I’m going to say a thing or two about a thing or two, you also know what time of year we’re up against…. Say it with me; football season! Ah. Deep breaths. Calming chants. Introspection… After all, it IS only preseason. (and still may I just say thank you, 8 pound 6 ounce baby Jesus for bringing back the greatest game ever played? I think I just did.)

Onward!

Chart-tastic: Initiative 1240, which would allow for a small number of public charter schools in Washington, made the November ballot. You will no doubt be hearing a lot more about 1240 and charter schools in the next few months. The Tacoma News Tribune sums it up pretty nicely.

Supreme Beings of Leisure: The Supreme Court accepted direct review of the lawsuit against Initiative 1053, the 2/3 vote requirement to  increase  taxes or fees.  This sends the case directly to the Supreme Court which will hear the case on September 25. This makes for an even more interesting election as Tim Eyman’s “son of 1053,” Initiative 1185 is on the ballot this fall. Whether the Supremes will decide the case by the time the 2013 legislative session opens is anybody’s guess. But right now, the law is unenforceable and presumably even a recently enacted 1185 (if passed) would also be unenforceable. Verrrryy interesting.

The Race is On: Speaking of the election, the finish line is almost in sight … for the primary. Once we cross that Rubicon, the next three months will be filled to the gills with myriad voter education (and suppression) efforts, debates, endorsements, and the like. Both candidates for governor are touting their education cred. Rob McKenna (R) unveiled his education funding plan this week – proposing to increase spending on education, including higher ed, by $1.7 billion.  Any new funding plan will have to take into account the work of a committee focused on teacher compensation as well as that of a newly formed funding task force that begins meeting today and must have a recommendation for how to fund education by the end of the year.

Stem Gap: No, it’s not a new dude ranch for neo-science nerds. It’s a pretty harsh reality. When it comes to STEM education, Washington is behind the 8 ball. Given our high-tech economy, we should be educating more mathematicians and scientists than nearly anywhere else in the country. Not so. Washington STEM produced this handy infographic that makes the not so good news at least somewhat pretty.  While we’re on the topic, women lag behind men nationwide in STEM jobs. Only 24% of STEM jobs are held by women. Am I just thin-skinned or does the quote from the rep. from the American Enterprise Institute seem like it’s out of the 1940’s? Meanwhile, let’s not forget the arts – or STEAM, as the acronym goes. Studies show that low income kids who participate in the arts score better in science and writing.

Light Reading:

Well, friends, that’s it – well, that’s all I feel like, anyway. Til next time – be sure to peruse the Yes on 1240 website and take advantage of all it has to offer. And, remember, your favorite football team still has a shot at the Super Bowl. Because right now, even my Green Bay Packers are 0-0. Go on, dream. It’s good for you. Thanks for all you do for our kids.

Chris and Team LEV

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