Op-Ed:State Superintendent Randy Dorn frustrated with the 2014 Legislature

Saturday, March 15, 2014

On Thursday, March 13, the 2014 Legislature adjourned. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on its progress this session.

Randy Dorn, State
Superintendent of
Public Education
In July, when the Legislature needed two special sessions to pass an operating budget, I expressed uncertainty. About $1 billion was added to basic education was a start but was $400 million short of what the state needs to stay on track to satisfy McCleary v. Washington.

The adjournment of the 2014 Legislature has turned my uncertainty to frustration.

Legislators had three education responsibilities this session. They needed to add the $400 million to basic education. They needed to come up with a plan to meet McCleary by 2018, as the Supreme Court directed in a Jan. 9 order. And they needed to pass a bill to secure our state’s No Child Left Behind waiver.

They did none of those things. In my estimation, they failed in their duty: to the state Constitution, to voters and most important to our public school students.

There are two biennia left until the state must fully fund basic education. According to the Quality Education Council — a group the Legislature created to make funding recommendations – the Legislature is still about $7 billion short of meeting McCleary. There are only two biennial budgets remaining until 2018. Where will that $7 billion come from?


Anonymous,  March 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM  

So Randy Dorn was willing to sell out the students and teachers of Washington State for federal dollars, forcing more high stakes testing on kids by making teacher's jobs reliant on unreliable standardized student test scores. All classrooms would be teaching to the test all the time. How is that good education? And why do the Feds get to dictate state and local education policy, when the Dept of Education is expressly forbidden from forcing any curriculum, product, etc. onto the states?
Public Law 103-33, General Education Provisions Act, sec 432,reads as follows:
“No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, [or] administration…of any educational institution…or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials…”

Anonymous,  March 17, 2014 at 6:35 AM  

Randy Dorn has thrown teachers under the bus by agreeing that student test scores be part of our evaluation. I suppose my doctor should be held accountable now that I have ignored his advice to exercise an hour a day and eat lots of fruit and veggies.

Anonymous,  March 17, 2014 at 1:04 PM  

If it has an answer at all, the answer to the question "Where will that $7 billion come from?" is "From new state Senators." We the people have to dump our Senators who have failed to do their job. They talked and talked and talked and got nothing done. The only thing they bragged about at the end of this legislative session is that they got out on time ... to go campaigning for reelection. Throw them all out.

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