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Remembering Elson S. Floyd

If there was ever an opportunity to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families, education is the way to do that.
–Elson S. Floyd, Tenth President of Washington State University

I was deeply saddened to learn of Elson S. Floyd’s passing today. As the tenth president of Washington State University, President Floyd’s commitment to higher education was clear. President Floyd was a champion for affordable, accessible higher education, which he described as an “individual good and a common good.”

Elson S. Floyd, President of Washington State University, gives advice to College Bound Scholarship student Kaysiana Hazelwood prior to her speech at the League of Education Voters' 2015 Annual Breakfast.

Elson S. Floyd, President of Washington State University, gives advice to College Bound Scholarship student Kaysiana Hazelwood prior to her speech at the League of Education Voters’ 2015 Annual Breakfast on March 26, 2015.

The League of Education Voters was honored with President Floyd’s presence at our 2015 breakfast, where he spoke passionately about the potential education has to transform lives: “If there was ever an opportunity to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families, education is the way to do that.”

One moment of inspiration for me that day actually occurred prior to our event. One of our College Bound Scholarship students, Kaysiana Hazelwood, was extremely nervous about speaking in front of such a large crowd. My staff worked to make her feel comfortable, and President Floyd joined their efforts after noticing her nervousness. He coached Kaysiana and gave her tips for speaking. Kaysiana did a fantastic job in her speech, and President Floyd later urged her to contact him or his office as she moved closer to her goal of attending WSU.

This is just one example of how much President Floyd cared, not just for WSU students, but for all Washington students. President Floyd was an inspiration through his work, and his legacy leaves a lasting impression on all of us regarding the value of education in our state. My deepest condolences are with his family and with Washington State University.

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: June 12

Well, it wasn’t exactly “Dewey Defeats Truman,” but last week’s proclamation of a budget deal was—sadly—a bit premature. Not everyone bought into the hype that a deal was imminent; some remain optimistic, while others offer admonishment. For their part, the Supreme Court is taking a wait-and-see approach. They are due a report on progress and a plan to finish the necessary work of fully funding “basic education” shortly after the Legislature finally adjourns.

At which point, I hope that the Legislature is called back into another session. Because, well, they didn’t fully comply with the Court’s orders. A girl can dream, can’t she? (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Legislative session, Weekly Roundup

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Korsmo’s Weekly Roundup: June 5

I’m not sure you can put all the blame on Dana Carvey’sChurch Lady” for the ruination of the word “special.” I mean, anybody else remember the ABC After School Specials of the 1970s? The first “entertainment specials” aimed at teen and tween angst on television were often anything but. Which brings me to the state of our legislative session(s). Wrapping up the first week of the second “special session” makes me long for the bad-hair-’70s nightmare that was “My Dad’s Wife” starring… Kristy McNichol. Now, those were good times. Our legislative sessions… not so much.

With a (partial) government shutdown looming at the end of the month, budget negotiators have been called to the office—the Governor’s office—to resume talks after the first really super special session resulted in nada. Well, not nada, exactly. Overall budget proposals seemed to have resulted in myriad teacher walkouts to protest a variety of issues—something we can expect to see more of, even though the budget will likely result in record investments in education. More on this in a moment.

You may be asking yourself, what’s the hold up on this budget? And how did we get here? Taxes. (more…)

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