April 18, 2016
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Washington's public charter school system gets back to work

The state’s public charter school oversight body began work again last week, days after this year’s charter school bill took effect. The Washington State Charter School Commission set a deadline of May 6 for the seven current state-chartered schools to meet filing deadlines to get new charter school contracts for the 2016-17 school year.

The commission will meet again May 19 in Tacoma.

As Washington’s public charter school system ramps up after last year’s state Supreme Court ruling that required governance and funding changes, research continues the show the value of these innovative public schools.

A report published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management shows that charter school graduates earn more income as adults than students in district-run public high schools. The difference in earnings by age 23-25 was $2,300, or 12 percent higher for charter school grads.

Beyond the financial advantages, students in charter high schools are 7-15 percent more likely to graduate from high school and 8-10 percent more likely to go on to college.

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Support Redevelopment to Create Jobs

Remove the barriers to prosperity

By Lee Newgent, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO; Larry Brown, Aerospace Machinists Union District Lodge 751; and Vince O'Halloran, Sailors' Union of the Pacific

Communities across our state are being rocked by the loss of jobs from closures of viable industry and manufacturing -- such as the Alcoa plant in Wenatchee. At the same time, we are facing extreme resistance to use or repurpose sites that have been closed, symptomatic of a growing and devastating "deindustrialization" sentiment. Examples include opposition to the proposal to use a former Alcoa plant for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, and the proposal in Tacoma -- now on hold -- to convert a former aluminum smelter into a methanol refinery.

It's no secret that our regulatory process is broken. It has become so protracted and unpredictable that we are sending potential investors the unmistakable message that Washington is an inhospitable place to launch new industrial, energy and transportation facilities.

Each of these issues can and must be addressed immediately by state leaders.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
Sensible Savings

Even uncommon voices can find common ground on energy efficiency

By Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers and Kit Kennedy of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Washington, D.C., has earned a reputation in recent years as a city plagued by hyper-partisan gridlock. Yet our two organizations -- which often disagree -- have found common ground on energy efficiency. It's instructive to look at why both the National Association of Manufacturers and the Natural Resources Defense Council both support it.

It's simple, really: by building better buildings, making more innovative products, and using creative manufacturing processes, we can accomplish multiple goals -- reducing wasted resources, improving our electricity system, preventing more toxic pollution, reducing climate change, and fueling economic growth. Many new, innovative energy efficiency products and technologies are made right here by American manufacturers, creating jobs and economic growth across the nation.

Candidates aren't banging their fists on the lectern about energy efficiency. There are no big-budget commercials or fiery debates on TV. But that's not because the issue isn't important. Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of all the energy used in the United States. Improving energy efficiency of our buildings, and of the appliances and equipment inside them, is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve the environment, save money, combat global climate change, and stoke our economy...

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Hill
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