December 7, 2015
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Bipartisan support growing for charter schools fix



As the Legislature looks at continuing its work to increase funding for the K-12 school system during next year’s Legislative session, Democrats and Republicans are saying that saving public charter schools must be part of any education package.

Among those supporting public charter schools: Reps. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle; Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island; Larry Springer, D-Kirkland; and Sens Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah; and Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens.

Last week, Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, became the latest Democrat to split with the more traditionally liberal wing of his caucus and support public charter schools. He noted that nearly two-thirds of the students in the state’s nine current charter schools are from low-income households, and nearly 70 percent are students of color.

Speaking about Destiny Middle School, a public charter school in his district, Sawyer said, “Public charter schools like Destiny are not the only solution, but they are part of a range of solutions that increase access to high quality public education — particularly for children of color, who stand to benefit the most from (charters). A child’s zip code or the color of her skin should not dictate whether or not he or she will graduate from high school, attend college, or achieve future career success.”

The Olympian urges the Legislature to fix the charter school initiative, and expressed confidence that lawmakers can “get that done.”

Sen. Joe Fain chose the charter school issue for his latest “57 Seconds” video, but admitted that the topic is a bit more complicated than what could be covered in a 57-second summary.

For more on AWB’s education advocacy efforts, contact Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson.

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Becoming a Top Ten State

Opportunities begin here in Washington state

By AWB President Kris Johnson and Washington Roundtable President Steve Mullin

The central Puget Sound region and Washington have long been a center of global trade.

A look behind the numbers, however, reveals that many Washingtonians are falling behind. And far too many young people fail to get the education they need to succeed and compete for great jobs being created by Washington employers.
Click here to read the full op-ed from Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin
Investing in Jobs

Boeing incentives are good for WA

By Rob McKenna

We're not talking about tax giveaways here; they're incentives to keep incredibly valuable airplane manufacturing right here in Washington. Our state benefits enormously from Boeing's presence. Just ask governors and business leaders in other states -- they'd love to have even a fraction of Boeing's high-tech manufacturing jobs in their states.

That's why it's somewhat amusing to see the showy handwringing in Olympia recently about these incentives. The tax incentive package passed overwhelmingly in a special session in November 2013 precisely because most state leaders grasp that the economic activity Boeing produces, the high-paying jobs it provides, and the taxes it generates far outweigh the theoretical value of the tax incentives.

Simply put, the incentives are a good deal for the state of Washington -- no handwringing needed.
Click here to read the full blog post at Smarter Government Washington
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