April 11, 2013




Contact Us 

If you have questions about education policy in Washington state, please contact us by email or by phone at (206) 625-9655.       










House, Senate, Governor Release Proposed 2-Year Education Budgets 

After the state House released its proposed 2013-15 budget Wednesday, we now have a clearer picture of how the three bodies -- House, Senate and Governor -- plan to pay for K-12 education, STEM and skills gap strategies, and the public charter school commission.  


The three budgets shed light into what their priorities are and how they will meet the requirements of the McCleary v State lawsuit and key education reforms critical to our state's future. 


The Senate passed its proposed budget last Friday, and Gov. Jay Inslee released his budget March 28.


The House calls for a two-year increase in K-12 education funding of $1.3 billion, compared to Inslee's $1.2 billion increase and the Senate's $1 billion.   


A comparison of the three education budget proposals is as follows:


Budget items
Materials, Supplies,
Operating Costs

K-3 class size reduction
Not included
Full-day Kindergarten
Student transportation
Increased instructional

Not included
TPEP Prof. development
Learning Assistance
Program (LAP)
School turnaround (RAD)
Not included
STEM Alliance Partnership
Not included
Public charter schools
Higher education


* Note: In an update received late this afternoon, all three bodies funded public charter schools, but the funds are difficult to discern in the three budgets. The charter school commission, for example, is funded at three vastly different levels ($427,000 in House, $916,000 in Senate and $627,000 by Inslee).  


Partnership for Learning had several funding priorities this session. As noted above, all three bodies funded professional development training on the teacher-and-principal evaluation system. Inslee also added $42 million for mentoring for teachers and principals.  


Other PFL priorities that received funding in at least one of the budget proposals included: STEM education programs (Senate, Inslee), expanded access to computer science (House), academic acceleration (Senate), turnaround for persistently low-achieving schools (Senate, Inslee) and third-grade literacy (Inslee), and implementation of a 24-credit career-and-college ready diploma (House).  


State Board of Education chairman Jeff Vincent, before the release of the House budget, penned a letter to the education community  on the importance of funding career-and-college ready programs. 


To review the three budgets, click here. Also, see the new interactive budget tool that allows you to compare budgets and dive a bit deeper into specific details.


Final version of NextGen Science Standards Released

The final version of the Next Generation Science Standards was released Tuesday. Washington was one of the original states to join the effort to develop the new common science learning standards. 


The Partnership for Learning, and other education partners, are encouraging the state to be one of the first to adopt the new standards. The 26 states that developed the standards have pledged to seriously consider adopting them.  


Report: State's job skills gap at 25,000 and growing    

If you missed our last newsletter, we wanted to highlight an important report, "Great Jobs Within Our Reach." The report, released by the Washington Roundtable and The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., reveals a large and growing gap between the number of open jobs in Washington and the number of skilled workers available in-state to fill those positions.  


If the state takes steps to fill the growing gap (now at 25,000), the report's findings showed it would mean 160,000 jobs across many sectors in state by 2017. Visit to download the report and accompanying materials.

Partnership for Learning, the education foundation of the Washington Roundtable, is a statewide nonprofit organization that builds awareness, understanding and support for improving public education in Washington. As a trusted source of information, Partnership for Learning makes complex education issues accessible.