Youth & Education

Unemployment
7:53 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Worker retraining programs run dry at community colleges

David Puki, left, helps inspect a drum brake with Hal Glade, at South Seattle Community College. Puki, a laid-off Boeing worker, is studying to be an auto mechanic.
Ralph Radford AP Photo

Unemployed workers are facing yet another obstacle as they try to get back on their feet. A lot of community colleges have run out of money to retrain them for in-demand jobs. 

It’s hard enough for most people to find work right now, let alone those whose fields have been pummeled by the recession. Changes in the job market have driven more workers than ever to take advantage of grants for retraining. So many, that even though the state spent $17.6 million to train an extra 3,784 people this year, it hasn’t been enough.

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Washington State Legislature
8:15 am
Fri March 4, 2011

Audit on K-12 health benefits runs afoul of unions

Majority Democrats in the Washington Legislature are working to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap. But they're not likely to implement a change the State Auditor says could save $180 million over the two-year budget cycle, as the idea runs afoul of the powerful teacher's union.

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Education
8:17 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Goodloe-Johnson fired; Enfield to lead Seattle Schools

One of the signs outside Seattle Schools headquarters Wednesday evening. Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired after a unanimous vote by the school board.
ErikaJSchultz Twitpic

Seattle's school board fired Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Don Kennedy, the district's chief financial officer, Wednesday evening, as was widely anticipated. The votes were unanimous.

The action was swift retribution following revelations of a financial scandal that drew the anger of board members and the public. The board then voted 6-1 to appoint Susan Enfield as interim superintendent.

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Education Reform
7:50 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Gregoire makes another push for 'Education Czar'

Governor Chris Gregoire is making another push to create a cabinet-level Department of Education. The idea appears to be faltering in the Washington legislature.

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Seattle Schools Scandal
3:32 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Urban League says it did nothing wrong

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, which received $595,000 from Seattle Public Schools, insists taxpayers got their money's worth despite a state audit report calling the payments of questionable value.

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Education
5:31 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Seattle Public Schools chief faces sudden exit

Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson faces a school board vote of termination of her contract at their Wednesday. March 2nd meeting.
Gary Davis KPLU

A financial scandal will likely force an abrupt end to the tenure of Seattle Public Schools superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. The school board will vote Wednesday evening on a motion to terminate her contract.

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K-12 Education
4:10 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Teacher layoff reform bill dies in Legislature

A proposal to base teacher layoffs on performance - and not seniority - has died in the Washington legislature. The bill's demise is a victory for the state’s teacher's union, but a frustrating defeat for some lawmakers. 

Currently, when school districts reduce staff newer more junior teachers typically lose their jobs first. A bipartisan proposal in the Washington legislature would have changed that.

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K-12 Education
9:45 am
Mon February 28, 2011

Parent launches Snoqualmie school bond recount

If you’ve ever wondered if one vote really makes a difference, consider a school bond measure in Snoqualmie. The proposal to build a new middle school in the rapidly-growing city was recently defeated by a single ballot. That doesn’t mean it’s dead. A parent decided the vote was too close to concede.

A majority of Snoqualmie residents supported the new school, almost 60-percent. Trouble is, when it comes to King County elections, almost doesn’t cut it.  

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Education
6:54 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Seattle Schools superintendent could lose job over audit revelations

Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson is seen here at a board meeting at district headquarters in 2010.
Gary Davis KPLU

New details emerged today over allegations of internal fraud and management 'failures' within Seattle Public Schools, and they may cost Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson her job. Her firing is one of the options the school board is considering in the wake of reports delving into financial mismanagement of a district contracting program.  

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Higher Education
8:11 am
Fri February 25, 2011

Budget cuts could mean fewer spots for Washington students, faculty at state universities

University of Washington's president says fewer in-state students will be accepted if lawmakers cut higher education budgets further than the governor's 2011-2013 budget proposal.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

More than 3,100 Washington students might not get into the state’s largest universities in the next couple of years. Hundreds of faculty and staff could lose their jobs. That’s what university presidents say will happen if the legislature slashes higher education funding beyond what the governor has already proposed.

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K-12 Education
3:40 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Alleged fraud in Seattle Public Schools could mean staff changes, criminal charges

The Seattle School Board says it will review all managers' potential involvement in recent fraud allegations, including Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson.
Gary Davis KPLU

The Seattle School Board could soon decide whether some district employees should lose their jobs over alleged fraud within the school system. This week, the board expects to receive the results of an investigation into $1.8 million dollars in contracts for services that might have never been completed, or even started. 

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K-12 Education
9:50 am
Mon February 21, 2011

Families urge support for schools at PTA Focus Day rally in Olympia

Nearly 1,000 supporters will gather in Olympia to press lawmakers on school issues. Last year's rally (above) drew more than 1,000 people.
Washington State PTA (WSPTA)

Hundreds of families will rally in Olympia today to send a message to the legislature. Despite budget challenges facing the state – they say lawmakers need to keep their hands off school funding. 

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K-12 Education
10:32 am
Tue February 15, 2011

Private school enrollment down as parents struggle to pay

The recession is forcing Washington families to make tough decisions about their children’s education. As incomes have dwindled, so has attendance at private schools. In the past few years, the schools have lost nearly 3,000 kids, according to data reported to the state. 

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K-12 Education
7:01 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Seattle school budget cuts to hit staff, support programs and kindergarten

Elementary students could have fewer resources next year because of budget cuts. Andy Trinh, left, James Berrysmith, and Keith Moreland, shown in fifth grade at Stevens Elementary in Oct. 27, 2004
Elaine Thompson AP

As schools across the state grapple with huge budget issues, administrators in Seattle say they need to cut elementary counselors, programs for struggling students and full-day kindergarten classes. Those are some of their final recommendations after months of pouring over options.  

Administrators did manage to shave more than $1.7 million from the budget gap, but they still face a nearly $35 million shortfall.   

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Education
12:08 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

Higher-ed advocates urge legislature to stop cuts

Washington State University president Elson Floyd at a fund-raising campaign kick-off.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Advocates for Washington's universities are presenting a more unified front in Olympia this year. They hope the closer coordination will help them make a stronger case for higher-ed funding. A coalition of groups gathered on the steps of the state capitol Thursday.

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