Education Accountability

Wagoner votes for early dyslexia detection for Washington students

Published on February 14, 2018
Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, lauded work to improve early detection of dyslexia in Washington schools. Wagoner voted for Senate Bill 6162, which would define dyslexia as a learning disability, direct schools to screen every kindergarten student and second-grader beginning in the 2020-21 school year, and require that schools provide necessary interventions. Wagoner was particularly supportive... Read More

Miloscia bill would help correct pay inequity for Federal Way teachers

Published on January 23, 2018
Sen. Mark Miloscia has introduced legislation that would put Federal Way School District teachers on equal footing with teachers in nearby districts when it comes to salaries. “A portion of the McCleary school-funding plan passed by the Legislature last year concerns the regionalization of teacher pay,” Miloscia explained, noting that he opposed that portion of... Read More

Tacoma News Tribune fact-checks the WEA ads

Published on June 07, 2017
Ad says Republican plan would hurt schools. We fact-check the claims BY MELISSA SANTOS   With rallies at the Capitol and ads on the radio, the statewide teachers union has been hammering Republicans’ plan to fix how Washington pays for public schools. But the union’s latest one-minute radio spot takes a few liberties with... Read More

Published on June 02, 2017
Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, has introduced Senate Bill 5946, which would phase out state funding for The Evergreen State College and ultimately sell the institution.  Fortunato says the controversy over the request for a white professor to leave campus that has embroiled Evergreen in a national media frenzy, reveals a dysfunctional state institution incapable of... Read More

Senate budget reveals big wins for Pierce County schools, taxpayers

Published on March 21, 2017
The Republican-led Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) released a $43 billion budget proposal that fully funds basic education and reforms the school levy system. The changes would mean a big influx of funding for Pierce County schools and big savings for taxpayers, according to Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place. The proposal creates a statewide flat... Read More

Senate approves Education Equality Act levy-cliff fix

Published on March 13, 2017
Late Wednesday evening, the Senate approved Senate Bill 5023, to address the so-called ‘levy cliff”, as part of a comprehensive solution to Washington’s education system. The Senate majority whip, Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, made the following statement following the near-unanimous vote. “I am pleased that we have been able to find a strong, bipartisan... Read More

Capitol Ideas: ‘Education lab’ open once more

Published on February 21, 2017 By Sen. Jim Honeyford Friday, February 10, 2017 The first time I placed my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office as a member of the state House of Representatives was in 1995. The atmosphere was charged with the spirit of reform. From Congress to the halls of state legislatures across... Read More

VIDEO: Sen. O’Ban challenges opponents of One Washington education funding plan to reveal tax sources for their bill

Published on February 09, 2017
Senator O’Ban spoke from the floor of the Senate to challenge opponents of the One Washington Education Equality Act to come up with a funding source for their own legislation.  He expressed his concern that to fund such proposals they’d need a big new tax–probably an income tax.     Read More

My conversation with KSVR in Mount Vernon

Published on February 07, 2017
Listen to my conversation about education funding, water access for wells and the Silver Alert. Read More

Senate shows how to govern by passing education bill, O’Ban says

Published on February 01, 2017
OLYMPIA—The One Washington Education Equality Act, SB 5607, passed the senate tonight by a vote of 25 to 24. Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, hailed the vote as a big win for kids and as welcome property tax relief for residents of the 28th Legislative District. SB 5607 was unveiled earlier this week by the... Read More

Senate majority presents landmark plan for K-12 funding — Education Equality Act would make student-centered, teacher-friendly reforms

Published on January 27, 2017
OLYMPIA…Senate Majority Coalition Caucus members today introduced landmark reforms that would return state government to the role of primary provider for Washington’s K-12 schools while finally connecting school funding with the actual cost of educating students. The MCC’s Education Equality Act is the first complete, ready-for-voting solution proposed by lawmakers since the state Supreme Court... Read More

Exciting progress on basic education funding

Published on June 28, 2016
Big changes in basic education funding We’ve reversed the long-term trend that was reducing the priority of education funding. In the past, most revenue increases went toward general government expenses, now two-thirds of new revenue growth has been allocated to education.  By doing so we have boosted K-12 spending to the highest level in 30... Read More

Mount Vernon School District receives K-3 class-size reduction grant

Published on June 13, 2016
The Superintendent of Public Instruction recently announced 21 grant recipients for class-size reduction funds available as a result of legislation supported by Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. Mount Vernon School District is slated to receive more than $8 million to expand classroom space and is planning to build two new elementary schools. “I am so pleased... Read More

Brief filed by the Legislature to the State Supreme Court concerning public charter schools

Published on October 28, 2015
Click on the image above to open the file. Read More

Open letter from members of the Majority Coalition regarding McCleary order

Published on September 04, 2015

2015: Best year for students and teachers in decades

Published on June 17, 2015
Sen. Bruce Dammeier, vice chair of the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee answers the question, “What have lawmakers done for students this year?” Senate education budget facts: Greatest new investment in K-12 of any budget in state history. 47 percent of the budget dedicated to K-12 education — a share not seen since the... Read More

Washington teacher’s union supports convicted child molesters receiving state funded pensions

Published on February 24, 2015
In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime retirement after working for as little as five years. In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime... Read More

Bill curbing tax dollars on union activities passes committee

Published on February 12, 2015
Sen. Judy Warnick’s legislation to curb the use of public funds for non-public purposes, Senate Bill 5602, moved out of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee Wednesday. The bill prohibits public employers from having employment contracts that require public resources to support private activities, such as a collective bargaining representative. “This bill is about transparency... Read More

Rivers earns Crayon Award for work to promote early learning

Published on July 25, 2014
Sen. Ann Rivers’ commitment to protect and grow early-learning programs in Washington has earned her a Silver Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance. “It is always an honor to be recognized for the work we do in Olympia, but I am particularly proud of this award because it acknowledges the value and importance... Read More

Honeyford is first to receive new CWU alumni award

Published on May 15, 2014
In a ceremony May 1, Sen. Jim Honeyford received the first-ever College of the Sciences Alumni of the Year award for Social Sciences from Central Washington University. The award recognizes Honeyford’s ongoing passion and interest in CWU as well as his work as chair of the Senate capital budget to fund Science Phase II, a... Read More

WA tuition increases second highest in nation before Senate froze rates

Published on May 06, 2014
Sen. Joe Fain with students and faculty from Highline Community College. A new study released May 1 showed that students at Washington’s public colleges and universities faced the second highest tuition increase in the country following the economic recession in 2008. Despite the substantial cost shift to students and families, Sen. Joe Fain believes the... Read More

VIDEO: Update on School Funding

Published on May 01, 2014

Bipartisan Supplemental Budget Proposal

Published on March 03, 2014
Last Wednesday the Senate overwhelmingly approved a supplemental budget proposal that is projected to balance over four years and prioritizes education without raising taxes. Since this is the first time in six years that we have entered session without a budget deficit hanging over our heads, we were able to propose a true supplemental budget.... Read More

A closer look at K-12 financing

Published on September 20, 2013
Until the next legislative session begins in January, I will be sending monthly updates that take an in-depth look at specific areas of the state budget. I’ll be prioritizing those that are most important to residents of our community. This month I’m going to focus on K-12 finance — not just the additional $1 billion,... Read More

Hill announces bipartisan agreement on new state budget

Published on June 27, 2013
State Sen. Andy Hill, the Senate’s chief budget writer, this morning announced that leaders from the Senate and House of Representatives have reached agreement on a new state operating budget that would take effect July 1. The compromise spending plan, which is expected to go before members of both chambers soon, will cover the 2013-15... Read More

Compromising on politics without compromising our children’s future

Published on June 18, 2013
A fragile local economy and lack of improvement in our state’s education system were the status quo when a bipartisan group established a governing coalition in the Washington state Senate this past December. After eight years of single-party control of the state Senate, House of Representatives and governor’s office the status quo wasn’t fulfilling Washington... Read More

Second special session begins with no budget agreement

Published on June 13, 2013
On Tuesday, the Washington State Legislature adjourned Sine Die (it’s Latin for “without a day” and pronounced “SIGH-nee-DYE”) for the second time this year. Yesterday, we began the second special session of 2013 – our third session of the year – with only one priority: pass a state budget. While I’d like to say that... Read More

Honeyford, Senate applaud National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau

Published on April 25, 2013
15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford and the Washington State Senate took time Tuesday morning to honor the 2013 National Teacher of the Year, Jeff Charbonneau, by adopting Senate Resolution 8660. “I am extremely pleased to be able to sponsor this resolution for Mr. Charbonneau,” Honeyford said. “It is not every day the best teacher in... Read More

Aligning spending priorities with the people’s priorities

Published on April 12, 2013
As the weeks became months for those of us crafting the Senate operating-budget, and the plan itself crept closer to the 400-page mark, it helped to pause and remember that our task was about more than making policies and allocating dollars. We were making choices that would affect people’s lives, be it the student who... Read More

Education and transportation drive discussion at 47th District town-hall meeting

Published on March 27, 2013
Members of Washington state’s 47th Legislative District delegation hosted a town-hall meeting Saturday with strong turnout and a focus on education and transportation concerns. Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn and Reps. Mark Hargrove and Pat Sullivan, of Covington addressed more than 100 people at the Golden Steer Steak n’ Rib restaurant in Kent, which lasted... Read More

Status of my bills in the House of Representatives

Published on March 26, 2013
I am pleased to report the Senate passed 11 of my bills and sent them to the House of Representatives for consideration. Currently, 10 of my 11 bills have public hearings scheduled in various House Committees. The most important bill I sponsored this year is Senate Bill 5445 that provides $445m in grants for school... Read More

Revenue forecast shows $2 billion more

Published on March 26, 2013
On Wednesday, March 20, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced we will have nearly two billion additional dollars for the 2013-15 operating budget. This news has been extremely well-received and has strengthened the resolve of the Majority Coalition Caucus to not raise your taxes. Despite reports to the contrary, we are close to... Read More

Our “10-3-50” plan to reduce tuition and fund higher education

Published on March 26, 2013
Over the last few years, the state has cut more than 30 percent out of the funding provided for our colleges and universities. Because of those funding cuts, tuition rates are at all-time highs. This past week, the Majority Coalition Caucus rolled out our “10-3-50” plan that will increase funding for our higher education institutions... Read More

47th District state lawmakers to hold town-hall meeting in Kent

Published on March 08, 2013
From left to right: State Sen. Joe Fain and Reps. Mark Hargrove and Pat Sullivan State lawmakers from the 47th Legislative District, which includes Covington and parts of Auburn, Kent and Renton, will hold a town-hall meeting March 23. They’ll share the latest news from Olympia with residents and answer questions about issues facing the... Read More

Hill pleased with progress, bipartisanship as Senate budget committee hits first deadline

Published on March 04, 2013
After passing Friday’s deadline for committees to approve proposals on which the state budget will be built, state Sen. Andy Hill, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said he was pleased with the progress and bipartisan nature of the committee’s work. “We’ve moved through a lot of substantive information in a short amount... Read More

State Senate honors Civil Air Patrol with Honeyford resolution

Published on March 01, 2013
The Washington State Senate stood and applauded members of the Civil Air Patrol Thursday after passing Senate Resolution 8621 sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. “I’ve been involved with the Civil Air Patrol for more than four years now and I really enjoy the opportunities to guide and mentor some really outstanding young people,” Honeyford... Read More

Senate honors Tahoma High School civics team

Published on February 27, 2013
Today the Washington State Senate unanimously adopted Senate Resolution 8620 honoring the students of Tahoma High School’s “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” civics team for its 18th state championship. “I’m so pleased to see our local students not only participating, but excelling in this competition and in their studies,” said Fain, who... Read More

Funding schools – and school safety – first

Published on February 26, 2013
I sponsored Senate Bill 5445, which is currently being considered by the House Capital Budget Committee. It would appropriate $10 million of capital funds to improve security at existing and future public schools based on the measures set forth in another bill, Senate Bill 5197. Two of the Majority Coalition Caucus’ priorities are education and... Read More

Federal Way students discuss STEM skills with Senate education panel

Published on February 26, 2013
During a work session held Monday by the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, students and instructors from Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way told committee members about CyberPatriot, a nationwide program that partners students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills with the United States Air Force Association for a... Read More

Hill recognized for support of online learning

Published on February 25, 2013
Members of Washington state’s Digital Public School Alliance, who gathered today at the state Capitol to lobby on behalf of online public schools, honored state Sen. Andy Hill with their “Pioneer Award” for his work on behalf of digital schools. The alliance is made up of parents of children who attend digital public schools on... Read More

School safety, construction funds approved in Senate

Published on February 11, 2013
Sen. Joe Fain and Auburn School Board member Ray Vefik meet in Fain’s Olympia office. Extensive improvements planned for Auburn High School passed another hurdle today, two weeks ahead of a Feb. 24 groundbreaking ceremony. Sen. Joe Fain announced today the state Senate passed two proposals to fund school-construction projects and improve school safety. “Auburn... Read More

Senate passes two bills to fund new safety measures for schools

Published on February 11, 2013
To better protect Washington schools, students and teachers, the Senate today unanimously passed two bills that would initiate implementation of school-safety measures. Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, is the sponsor of Senate Bill 5197, a measure that was introduced in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “At a time when someone is threatening our... Read More

Visit from Parent, Teacher, Student Association

Published on February 01, 2013
Last week I was pleased to join with many members of the PTSA, both from Eastside King County and across the state. They were in Olympia for the annual “Legislative Focus Day” to meet with lawmakers, share their concerns and ideas, and lend their collective voice for all those involved in educating our students. As... Read More

Fain proposes measure to increase safety for teachers, school staff

Published on January 31, 2013
State Sen. Joe Fain has introduced a proposal to strengthen the penalty for those convicted of assaulting a teacher or other school-staff member. “I recently spoke with a resident of our community who is a teacher and felt threatened at work,” said Fain, of Auburn, who serves on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education... Read More

Kent student leaders visit Capitol; remember Dr. King

Published on January 21, 2013
On the day lawmakers gathered to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. members of the Kent-based Institute for Community Leadership visited the Capitol campus and addressed the Senate’s education committee. The Institute for Community Leadership works with its members to become involved in their community and make positive changes. The group focuses on diversity, civic... Read More

Bipartisanship possible in Washington State Senate

Published on December 10, 2012
Imagine picking up your local newspaper to find this story: “Today lawmakers from both political parties agreed to cooperate in support of a shared set of principles that include helping middle-class families and promoting a world-class public education system.” As of this week that headline could be a reality, not in Washington, D.C. but right... Read More

Finance Guide: K-12 Education

Published on June 25, 2012
Below is a link to the 2012 Citizen’s Guide to Washington State: K-12 Finance, which is an incredible resource that provides an in-depth look at state education funding and the many layers that make up our K-12 appropriations in the budget. The citizen’s finance guides are put together by the Senate’s nonpartisan Ways & Means... Read More

Irresponsible budgets hurt education

Published on March 19, 2012
Last week I authored an op-ed with three of my Senate colleagues, which was made available to the local “Reporter” newspapers in each of the districts we represent. In case you hadn’t come across it yet, the piece is included below. – Andy Irresponsible budgets hurt education By Sens. Joe Fain, Andy Hill, Steve Litzow... Read More

Fain reports on bipartisan town halls with Reps. Hargrove, Sullivan

Published on March 15, 2011
The bipartisan delegation of Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn, and Reps. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, and Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, heard from citizens at two town halls in the 47th Legislative District on Saturday. The first, at Cutter’s Point coffee shop in Covington, consisted of a roundtable discussion of legislative issues. The second, at the Auburn School District board room, focused solely on... Read More