Katie Mosehauer, Executive Director of Washington Appleseed, recently spoke with Steve Scher at KUOW about the new Washington state school discipline law, and how the changes affect schools, students, and parents.
Every year, thousands of Washington students are excluded from school. Students of color, low-income students, and special education students are disciplined at higher rates than other students, which contribute to Washington’s opportunity and achievement gaps. Higher rates of suspensions and expulsions lead to higher dropout rates, increases in grade repetition, and a rise in incarceration rates.
Earlier this year, the State Supreme Court ordered the Washington legislature to provide a plan by April 30, 2014 for fixing the state’s unconstitutional education funding system. The McCleary v. Washington decision found that the state was violating its constitutional obligation to amply fund basic education and gave lawmakers a 2018 deadline to fix this violation.
In a recent legal analysis of the case, Judge Phil Talmadge, former State Supreme Court Justice (1995–2001), wrote that the Court’s decision to “retain jurisdiction to monitor legislative compliance” represents “uncharted waters” for the state. Judge Talmadge lays out a number of potential outcomes in his analysis of this legislative-judicial battle over school funding, writing: “The issue presented here is not one of whether the Court has the power… to order compliance with its McCleary opinion. It does. The more basic and nuanced question is whether it is wise to exercise that power.” (more…)
The following article was originally posted on the Children’s Alliance blog on April 1, 2014, and is re-posted here with permission.
The new Race for Results report offers quantitative evidence of the barriers that prevent all our children from grasping the building blocks of success.
Here in Washington and across the country, no single group of children covered by the report—African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, or white—is meeting key milestones of child well-being. But children of color, especially, face greater barriers to opportunity.
Race for Results points out that the largest obstacles to future success are faced by African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino children. And while Asian/Pacific Islander children score better in the rankings than other children of color, our state’s large Asian/Pacific Islander community contains a diversity of experience. (more…)