December 12, 2016
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Washington's charter schools law named best in the nation

Washington's voter-approved and Legislature-improved charter school law is tied for best in the United States, according to a new report by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). Washington is tied with Indiana and Nevada for the top score after being measured against eight best practices for school accountability and authorizer quality.

“Washington is a national model for how to get charter school policies right,” said John Hedstrom, vice president of policy for NACSA. “Its law strikes the right balance that gives charter schools the freedom they need to thrive, while ensuring these schools meet a high bar and are good schools for students and taxpayers.”

Washington's public charter schools were created by Initiative 1240, which voters approved in 2012. After the state Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the method of funding the schools was unconstitutional, the Legislature fixed the funding issue with a bipartisan bill earlier this year. The Washington Education Association and other critics have continued to challenge Washington's public charter schools in court.

The Spokesman-Review notes that the Spokane Public School District is one of Washington's two charter school authorizers, and that in September the state's eight public charter schools received a $6.9 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

For more on how public charter schools offer educational innovation and alternatives across the state, contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for educational issues.



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Sustainability in Action

Building with renewables

By Washington Business magazine

With the tagline "engineered to outlive you," Brooks Manufacturing Co. designs and manufactures quality wood crossarms and transmission framing products for the electric utility industry. Established in 1915, Brooks Manufacturing has been owned and operated by the Brooks family since 1935. Brooks is a certified woman-owned business enterprise.

The company's Douglas fir crossarms come from sustainable forests that are managed to meet the social, economic, and ecological needs of present and future generations.
Read the full article in Washington Business magazine
Jobs are Waiting

Wrap up review of Longview coal terminal

By The Everett Herald Editorial Board

As long as we're talking about bubbles, perhaps those of us in Snohomish and King counties ought to take a look outside ours to other parts of the state that aren't sharing in all aspects of the state's economic rebound.

Both counties enjoy the state's lowest unemployment rates as of October: 4 percent in Snohomish County and 3.7 percent in King. Counties in southwest Washington, however, continue to lag with unemployment rates of 6 percent in Clark, 7.2 percent in Cowlitz, 7.6 percent in Lewis and 8.6 percent in Wahkiakum County.
Read the full editorial in The Everett Herald (subscription required)
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