File to run for election in local races by June 10

May 31, 2011

The deadline is approaching for people to run for City Council, Issaquah School Board and King County offices.

Candidates can file in person at King County Elections headquarters from 8:30 a.m. June 6 until 4:30 p.m. June 10. If a candidate opts to file by mail, the elections office must receive his or her material by the June 10 deadline. Candidates can also file online at the elections office’s website until 4 p.m. June 10.

Candidates must pay a filing fee at the time of entering the race. Most races require a filing fee equal to 1 percent of the annual salary of the office. The filing fee is nonrefundable.

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King County Elections to host candidate workshops

May 6, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. May 6, 2011

The race for City Council seats launched in February, but people interested in running for seat on the council or the Issaquah School Board do not need to file for the race until June.

In the meantime, potential candidates can attend workshops to learn the basics of running for office. King County Elections is hosting complimentary workshops May 12 and 14.

Participants can discuss important information related to filing for office in King County. The session is open to candidates, campaign managers and community members.

Organizers plan to discuss the filing process, submitting information for the countywide voters’ pamphlet, voter lists and data management, campaign sign regulations and basic public-disclosure information.

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Congressman, school board discuss education law

March 29, 2011

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert listens to school board members discuss the No Child Left Behind law March 25. By Laura Geggel

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and school board members from six different districts, including the Issaquah School District, met March 25 to discuss the problems swirling around the No Child Left Behind federal law.

In Washington, no school district larger than 6,100 students is meeting standards required by No Child Left Behind, Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz said.

“This is an issue that I’ve heard over and over and we just can’t seem to make any progress on it,” said Reichert, a federal representative for the 8th Congressional District, an area including Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish and other Eastside and South King County cities through rural Pierce County.

During the meeting, Reichert, R-Auburn, and the school board members agreed that No Child Left Behind needs reform.

No Child Left Behind uses data from standardized test scores in reading and math. In Washington, the tests are called the Measurement of Student Progress, for grades three through eight, and the High School Proficiency Exam, for sophomores.

If a school fails to meet standard in one of the 37 subgroups, it is listed as failing. Schools receiving federal Title I funds for low-income students that do not meet AYP must notify their parents and could face sanctions. For instance, depending on how many years a school has missed AYP, it must give students the option of moving to another school within the district and paying for their transportation.

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Press Editorial

March 22, 2011

Now is the time for candidates to step up

Campaign season for City Council seats is off and running. Already? Yes, already.

The campaign announcement last month from Councilman Joshua Schaer and the strong turnout from residents in the recent effort to appoint a citizen to the council shows campaign season is on.

Now is the time for people considering public office in the community to start raising the possibility to family and potential supporters. Now, most importantly, is also the time to start engaging residents about the issues facing Issaquah in the next election.

Residents deserve a robust campaign featuring a full slate of candidates, not a repeat of the drowsy council and Issaquah School Board campaigns from 2009.

The importance of council and school board races cannot be overstated.

Leaders in the city and school district set a large chunk of property tax rates for local homeowners. The city is in the midst of long-term planning efforts for the business district and a downtown park, so a continued tradition of thoughtful leadership is important in the years ahead.

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Issaquah School District uses scorecard to track progress

February 22, 2011

Every day, teachers grade students on their work and class participation. Now, Issaquah School District administrators are grading the district with an annual progress report called a scorecard.

District administrators have worked on designing the scorecard website since spring 2010, and the Issaquah School Board approved the scorecard layout and content at its Jan. 26 meeting. The site — accessible from www.issaquah.wednet.edu — will be launched either this spring or fall.

“We do very extensive and comprehensive monitoring around our ends policies and we thought the scorecard was a good means of doing that,” school board President Jan Woldseth Colbrese said.

The scorecard will measure about 20 milestones using data from standardized tests, the Healthy Youth Survey, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, and community polls administered by the district.

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Off the Press

December 21, 2010

Forget 2012 election; real action is in 2011

December is a lifetime removed from the rough and tumble of election season.

Warren Kagarise Press Reporter

Right?

Nope.

Though the mid-term election is more than a month in the past — and a recount ended the last local race in early December — attention has already started to turn to 2011.

Issaquah has City Council and school board elections in November and, depending on the number of candidates, a possible August primary election.

Pundits starting peering into the crystal ball in the direction of 2012 before Dino Rossi had drafted a concession speech, but the races on the ballot next year could carry just as much impact for city and Issaquah School District residents.

OK, so City Council and Issaquah School Board contests lack the intrigue of the 2012 races — the battle royale for the Governor’s Mansion, another U.S. Senate race, and the redrawn congressional and legislative map — but local leaders decide all sorts of important issues, too.

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Supreme Court rules against local school challenge

December 14, 2010

Washington’s school districts won’t be seeing any extra funding for special education programs anytime soon.

The state Supreme Court ruled on the School Districts’ Alliance for Adequate Funding of Special Education v. State on Dec. 9, deciding in an 8-1 vote that the alliance did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the state under funds special education.

The Issaquah School District helped spearhead the lawsuit in 2004, joining 11 other districts that also called into question how the state pays for special education. Combined, the alliance and amicus school districts serve about two-thirds of students in the state receiving special education services.

The districts alleged that the state does not adequately fund special education, forcing districts to instead rely heavily on local taxpayer dollars. They asked the state to implement the constitutional mandate “to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste or sex.” Read more

Issaquah School Board receives distinction award

December 14, 2010

For the second consecutive year, the Issaquah School Board has received a Board of Distinction award from the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

The board, including Superintendent Steve Rasmussen and members Jan Woldseth Colbrese, Brian Deagle, Suzanne Weaver, Chad Magendanz, Marnie Maraldo, learned about the honor at the annual WSSDA conference Nov. 17-20 in Spokane, where school board members from the state’s 295 school districts met to share ideas.

To apply, boards had to answer several questions, including those about their work to improve student learning and the board’s accountability to the community. Read more

Issaquah School Board elects Jan Woldseth Colbrese as president

December 14, 2010

The Issaquah School Board unanimously elected Jan Woldseth Colbrese to serve as its president at its Dec. 8 meeting. Board member Suzanne Weaver last held the yearlong position.

This is the fifth time Woldseth Colbrese has served as president. Now in her twelfth year on the board, she said she looked forward to her management and spokesperson responsibilities as president, but added that, “We serve together as a whole board.”

State Supreme Court rules against increased funding for special education

December 9, 2010

NEW — 4 p.m. Dec. 9, 2010

Washington’s school districts won’t be seeing any extra funding for special education programs anytime soon.

The state Supreme Court ruled on the School Districts’ Alliance for Adequate Funding of Special Education v. State on Thursday, deciding in an 8-1 vote that the alliance did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the state under funds special education.

The Issaquah School District helped spearhead the lawsuit in 2004, joining 11 other districts that also called into question how the state pays for special education.

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