October 24, 2016
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Financial literacy added to new state education standards

Schools and teachers now have official state guidelines for how to teach financial literacy to K-12 students. The standards, recently finalized and released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, focus on a number of areas, including developing knowledge and skills to plan for spending and saving, managing credit and debt, using a career plan to understand income potential, setting and working toward personal financial goals, and applying decision making to matters of personal finance.

OSPI says financial education is an essential academic subject:

"Financial education attends to the development of short-term and long-term skills and competencies for academic and personal growth. Financial education supports students’ academic performance in several subject areas and plays a major role in preparing students for college, career, and a life of financial stability and well-being."

The new standards aim to:

  • Lay the foundational knowledge for students to be informed and productive members of society.
  • Support the development of financially competent and fiscally responsible individuals.
  • Prioritize the needs of each student by using inclusive language.
  • Emphasize instructional understanding and application of a whole child approach.

The Herald wrote about how the standards are playing out in one school.

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Focus on Sustainability

Helping CAT Excavators Ride the Rails

HPF Manufacturing, Inc. has created an innovative way to cut fuel use by 97 percent for railroad work and maintenance.

The Snohomish County employer designed Rail-X undercarriages to maximize fuel efficiency by incorporating drive motors so that an excavator can be driven on rail to a work site by a single operator. The average fuel consumption is just 5 gallons per hour. In contrast, the traditional process for rail maintenance involves the following: An excavator is trucked to a rail site, hoisted and bolted onto a rail car, then pulled by locomotive to the work site. The average fuel consumption is 175-200 gallons per hour.

Using Rail-X excavators significantly cuts fuel consumption by up to 97 percent when compared to the traditional process of railroad maintenance, thus reducing the carbon footprint within the rail industry for a more sustainable and green environment.
Read more in Washington Business magazine
Reasons to Say Yes

Oil terminal merits approval

By Mike Bridges, business representative for IBEW 48, Longview

A recent letter by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 4 President Jared Smith mischaracterized the proposed Vancouver Energy crude-by-rail terminal.

Opponents such as Smith largely base their arguments on concerns about oil trains that are already running through this state and will continue whether or not Vancouver Energy is built.

The letter presented a false choice of windmills versus oil trains -- we need both. Cars, trucks, buses and jets don't run on wind. Petroleum fuels keep us moving and keep our economy strong.

Smith also asserted falsely that Vancouver Energy crude oil would go overseas. Instead, Midwest oil will go to West Coast refineries to create products we need, reduce crude imports by 30 percent, and enhance U.S. energy independence...

Read the full letter to the editor in The Olympian
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