Gregoire addresses education reform bills

March 27, 2009 at 10:07 am Leave a comment

UPDATE 3/30/09: The League of Education Voters has created a helpful chart comparing HB 2261, SB 6048, and the Governor’s letter. Download it here.

Yesterday, Governor Chris Gregoire wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp weighing in on the basic education reforms being considering this session. Read the whole letter here.

Gregoire laid out the specific elements of the proposed legislation that she supports:

  • Adoption of the model school prototype to help districts allocate funds and create a clearer and more transparent budgeting system
  • Phase-in of 24 core credits to give all kids the opportunity to earn a meaningful high school diploma
  • Strengthen the role of data in our decision-making
  • Build upon the work of the Professional Educator Standards Board to develop a state-of-the-art teacher preparation and certification system

However, the Governor made it clear that she has serious concerns about the timing of these reforms and is reluctant to adopt anything that calls for a phase-in beginning 2011-2012. She also does not support the inclusion of highly capable programs or early education for at-risk 3- and 4-year olds in the definition of basic education.

“I support the goal of leaving this legislative session with a path forward, a means to keep the ball rolling to a better K-12 system for our students. This system must provide opportunities for our students and must not be seen as just adding more burdens for students and teachers. I want to show through quality teaching, good pay, transparent spending, principal leadership and accountability for all, that we are on the road to a twenty-first century education system. This is good for our students. This is good for our state. This helps us be a good partner with the new direction of the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Education and is good for our nation. However, as painful as it is, it would be irresponsible of us to ignore the current challenges our economic reality presents and to end this session with a disconnect between that reality and our plans for the future.

Also check out the Tacoma News Tribune column in the Governor’s letter.

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Entry filed under: News Updates.

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