Youth & Education

Early Childhood Education
5:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

As Seattle Mulls Pre-K Program, We Ask: What's The Long-Term Cost?

File image
Eric Gay AP Photo

 

"Lattés cost more," said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of the property tax hike homeowners would see on their monthly bills if voters approve his proposal to expand the city's preschool services.

Under the proposed four-year, $58 billion tax hike, Murray says the average Seattle homeowner would pay an extra $3.60 in property taxes each month to fund a pilot project serving 2,000 mostly low-income preschool-age kids.

City leaders hope the program will eventually serve even some middle-class preschoolers in the future. But that will cost more money, and Murray isn't clear yet on from where that funding will come.

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Early Childhood Education
5:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

As Seattle Mulls Pre-K Program, We Ask: What Impact Does Early Learning Have?

File image
Eric Gay AP Photo

Some children have never held a pencil or a pair of scissors when they start the year in teacher DaZanne Davis Porter's kindergarten class.

They enter her classroom at Seattle's Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary at the beginning of the year and "cannot recognize any letters, any colors, any numbers, any shapes," Davis Porter said. "By the end of the year, they are [expected] to be reading."

"When you're starting the journey behind," she asked, "do they ever catch up?"

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Early Childhood Education
4:57 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

If Seattle Creates Preschool Program, Multilingual Providers Would Have Leg Up

Kyle Stokes KPLU

If Seattle voters approve a property tax hike to expand preschool access, the program would start small, paying for a handful of providers to teach a little more than a dozen classrooms of students in its first year.

How will the city choose those few providers? Those teaching preschool kids in multiple languages have a better chance of getting picked.

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Education Funding
12:27 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Seattle Mayor Proposes Property Tax Levy To Fund Preschool For Low-Income Families

FILE - In this April 5, 2012, photo, pre-school students Molly Kiniry, 4, left, Imani Workcuff, 4, upper right, and Lyvia Pham, 4, lower right, build "castles" with building sticks at the Refugee and Immigrant Family Center in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has proposed a property tax levy to increase low-income children's access to preschool.

Murray is asking voters to approve a four-year, $58 million property tax hike to enroll 2,000 children in 100 classrooms by the year 2018. The plan would cost the average homeowner $43.36 per year, or $3.61 per month, the mayor said.

"I believe that giving all of our children a fair and equal chance to thrive in school, to live productive and prosperous lives, is, again, the most important thing I will ever do as mayor, and it's the most important thing my fellow council members will do as council members," Murray said during a Thursday press conference. 

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Environmental Education
5:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

For Rainier Beach High Students, Class In Session Along Fast-Changing Elwha River

Rainier Beach High School biology students reach into Barnes Creek, a waterway 10 miles west of the Elwha River in Olympic National Park. They're spending the week in the park studying river ecology.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Rainier Beach High School senior Puja Niroula hopes to study science in college. But she's still a bit squeamish when it comes to netting tiny bugs from a creek bed in Olympic National Forest.

"I wonder if this is poisonous. Do you think so?" Niroula, 18, asked another student with more than a hint of trepidation as she picked larval mayflies from the net.

Niroula and 25 other biology students from the south Seattle school are spending this week conducting experiments on a fast-changing ecosystem at the heart of one of the century's most significant environmental projects: the Elwha River.

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Early Childhood Education
10:10 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Pre-K Enrollment Down, Especially Low In Northwest

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 photo, Bryson Payne, 4, left, and his teacher Jacqualine Sanchez, center, play with pretend food in a pre-kindergarten class at the Sheltering Arms Learning Center in New York.
Seth Wenig AP Photo

The number of preschoolers enrolled in state-funded early childhood education programs is dropping nationally. A national study released Tuesday shows that Northwest states are holding steady in terms of overall enrollment but continue to rank near the bottom in some key areas.

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No Child Left Behind Act
12:43 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

After Wash. Loses NCLB Waiver, Feds Show Leniency To Other States

Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn speaks during a session at the annual AP Legislative Preview, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington may be the only state to lose control over millions in federal education funding over its failure to pass a new teacher evaluation system, at least in the near future. 

Less than a month after Washington state became the first state to lose its waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, the feds are showing leniency to other states, according to a report by Education Week. Those states passed laws creating teacher evaluation systems that they're now struggling to implement. 

But state officials say that leniency will not extend as far as Washington, which failed to pass a similar law.

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Education
12:11 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

How One Seattle School Will Use Millions In Turnaround Grant Money

Teacher Colin Pierce speaks with students in his International Baccalaureate "Theory of Knowledge" class at Rainier Beach High School.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

The school day at Seattle's Rainier Beach High School is about to get longer and the curriculum, some staff say, is about to get a lot more rigorous.

Rainier Beach is one of 13 Washington schools state officials selected Thursday to receive a share of a $24 million grant over the next three years — money federal officials earmarked for helping schools with some of the state's lowest test scores and graduation rates.

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Education
4:02 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

If Feds Say All Schools Are 'Failing,' Which Wash. Schools Will Actually Get Help?

Students at Salmon Bay School in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

If the state's recent loss of its waiver from the No Child Left Behind law means the feds will label almost every Washington school as "failing," which schools are actually struggling enough to receive formal help?

Washington's top elected school official answered that question Tuesday, releasing lists of more than 280 struggling schools — more than twice as many as last year — that will receive $11 million worth of help in the form of state-aided planning and teacher training.

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Education
4:43 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Expelled Wash. Students Will Have To Meet With Teachers, Parents Before Returning To School

Eric E Castro Flickr

Parents and teachers of a student who's been expelled from a Washington school will likely have to meet together before the student is allowed to attend classes again, according to new state rules up for public review Monday.

"You would think it was happening before, but it absolutely wasn't happening before," said Linda Mangel, education policy director for the ACLU of Washington, who noted the new guideline comes as part of a change in state law.

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Sexual Assault
7:58 am
Fri May 2, 2014

WSU, U-Idaho Under Investigation For Sex Assault Complaints

Washington State University

Washington State University and the University of Idaho are among the schools under investigation over their handling of sexual assault cases.

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Youth & Education
6:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

McCleary Attorney: Wash. Lawmakers' School Funding Report 'A Bunch of Malarky'

Attorney Thomas Ahearne argues in front of the Washington State Supreme Court in a 2004 file photo.
Ted S. Warren AP File Photo

A lawyer who argued a landmark education funding case before the Washington Supreme Court says state lawmakers are still dragging their feet in meeting the mandate justices set out: develop, by this week, a "complete plan" to pump billions of new dollars into the state's public schools.

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Education Funding
5:38 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Wash. Lawmakers Submit 'Partial Plan' To Meet McCleary School Funding Mandate

Staff members for the Washington Legislature's Joint Committee on Article IX Legislation, charged with reporting to the state Supreme Court on education funding, address lawmakers in Olympia on Tuesday, April 29.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

State lawmakers aiming to meet an April 30 deadline from the state Supreme Court have delivered a report detailing its efforts to increase school funding from levels that justices have ruled are inadequate.

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Education Funding
1:32 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Why Invest In Preschools? Tacoma Teacher Explains

'The standards are increasing — they’re getting higher and higher' for students entering kindergarten, says Tacoma preschool teacher Erin Kling.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

When federal education officials revoked Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, they hung a cloud of uncertainty over the early childhood education programs Tacoma School District offers.

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Education Funding
12:36 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

What's At Stake For Tacoma Preschoolers Now That Wash. State Lost Its NCLB Waiver

A preschooler at Tacoma's Stafford Elementary uses an application on a school-owned iPad that allows her teacher to track her progress.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Five-year-old Serenity Johnson has been eager to start preschool since she was 2½ years old.

"She said 'Mommy, I want to go to school,'" her mother, Shantia Johnson, said. "I said, 'You can't go to school until preschool, and we have to pay for preschool. ‘So I needed to find a preschool we didn't have to pay for."

Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a controversial federal education law, helped Serenity get exactly what she wanted. The waiver freed up federal money Tacoma Public Schools officials used to expand its publicly-funded preschool programs to Stafford Elementary, the Johnsons' home school.

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