August 19, 2015
NEW — 3:50 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015
Washington state’s school-financing system has been inadequate, broken and inequitable for three decades. On Aug. 12, after multiple warnings, the state Supreme Court issued a new order in the landmark McCleary case putting a price tag on the failure to fix it: $100,000 a day in fines.
The penalty follows the court holding the state — the governor and the Legislature — in contempt 11 months ago. Despite a regular session and three overtime sessions, lawmakers still could not satisfy the court.
No more delays. Gov. Jay Inslee should show the type of bold leadership on the systemic solutions that he did not show during the six months of legislative sessions. He should work with legislative leaders to hatch a plan and then reconvene the full Legislature as soon as possible. Lawmakers must also set aside partisanship and ideology to find a sustainable new education-funding model.
The Legislature made admirable progress toward fuller funding of education in the recent marathon session. But the Supreme Court wants more detailed plans of how the state will pay for the space required for reduced K-3 class sizes and all-day kindergarten. The new order also rightly emphasized the state’s constitutional obligation to pay for teachers’ salaries. The broken school-financing model foists nearly one-third of compensation onto school levies, leaving have and have-not districts in rich and poor corners of the state. Read more
May 27, 2015
About 80 percent of the approximately 1,100 teachers in the Issaquah School District were part of last week’s one-day walkout May 19, said Doug Jones, president of the Issaquah Education Association, the local teacher’s union.
In most cases with parents and students joining them, teachers lined the streets in eight locations, calling for state legislators to fully fund education, to meet the demands of the state Supreme Court McCleary decision, which makes paying for basic education the fundamental job for the state.
March 17, 2015
State legislators descended on their Eastside jurisdictions March 14, holding open houses in Bellevue and Issaquah.
At Bellevue’s Somerset Elementary School, one main topic was education, with dozens of teachers outside, and later inside, carrying signs mostly declaring, “It’s time to fully fund education.”
August 19, 2014
The Issaquah School District will receive an additional $5.4 million from the state government, which equates to revenue growth of less than 1 percent in the 2014-15 school year.
Public school districts and the state Legislature continue to battle over the McCleary decision of 2012, which said lawmakers weren’t fully funding basic education costs and called for them to rectify the situation.
The state increased funding by about $1 billion for its 2013-15 biennial budget, but that isn’t quite cutting it when it comes to meeting the requirements of the McCleary decision, school officials said.
“Though a billion dollars sounds like a lot, when you split it over two years and divide it by 295 school districts, you see it translates to a rather minute increase in the proportion of state revenue,” said Jake Kuper, the Issaquah district’s chief of finance and operations.
July 8, 2014
Voters will have four choices for state representative in the 5th Legislative District primary Aug. 5.
The two candidates who receive the most votes will run in the Nov. 4 general election.
Incumbent Republican Chad Magendanz will run again. He touts his expertise on educational issues and his willingness to reach across the aisle as reasons for residents to re-elect him.
April 4, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. April 4, 2014
Freshman State Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-5th District, Issaquah) was named the new ranking Republican on the House Education Committee March 31.
The announcement came after Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31st District, Enumclaw) resigned her committee position.
Magendanz moved up from the committee’s assistant ranking Republican, a position he has held since he was sworn in as a legislator.
March 4, 2014
As the regular legislative session draws closer to an end, 5th District policy makers gave an update to residents Feb. 22.
Democratic Sen. Mark Mullet and Republican Reps. Chad Magendanz and Jay Rodne welcomed the public to a Town Hall at the Issaquah Highlands Fire Station 73. There, they answered questions about bills hearing discussion in this session, bills that may come in the future and the general state of the Legislature.
Moderator William Shaw gathered questions from the audience and led the discussion, beginning with a possible transportation package.
February 7, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 7, 2014
Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, has been tapped to sit on a legislative work group that will consider new ways to fund K-12 education.
The bipartisan group, chaired by Gov. Jay Inslee, will include members of the state House and Senate.
Magendanz, assistant ranking member of the House Education Committee, said lawmakers have their work cut out for them in complying with the state Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary decision, which found that the state was not adequately funding basic education.