The Senate passed the education reform bill, SB 2261, last night and the House will attempt to agree to the final language before the end of the session.
The WEA is extremely upset about this bill and they feel it is wrong to move forward with any structural reform without more resources for teachers. My view, however, is that it is unreaslistic to ask voters or legislators to support more resources for our K-12 system without a parallel effort to fix some of the instititutional and structural weaknesses in public education. We need more resources AND reform, not one or the other.
The most important piece of the bill is that we formally define basic education for the first time in 30 years. That definition is necessary and vital for any step forward.
I hope the Washington Education Association will stay at the table in a meaningful way as partners with parents, legislators, activists and others so that we can make progress together. I am extremely sensitive and appreciative of the historical frustration the WEA has about the lack of increased funding; it’s a legitimate frustration on all fronts. Yet we cannot convince voters we need more resources without some genuine efforts to improve the quality of our schools.
We’re in this together.