State of Washington Archives: on Education


Jay Inslee: $1.2B for automatic COLA adjustments for teachers

[In the recent court ruling] the court wrote that it wants to see "immediate, concrete action, not simply promises." I agree. Promises don't educate our children, and promises don't satisfy our constitutional and moral obligations. We need to put several billion dollars more into funding our K-through-12 education system. I propose a plan to make an investment of about $200 million in our schools this session. Most of that will go directly to your local school districts. It will also fund a long-overdue cost-of-living adjustment for our educators this session. Washington voters spoke loudly in 2000, saying that educators should get this COLA every year. Yet repeatedly that mandate has been shunted aside. We're going to live up to that promise this year. Last year I proposed a $1.2 billion down payment on our obligation to schools, funded mostly by closing tax breaks. The court now says what we did wasn't enough and the need for immediate action could not be more apparent.
Source: 2014 Washington State of the State address Jan 14, 2014

Mark Warner: Home-schooling is ok; my sister home-schools her kids

Gilmore accused Warner of describing the Christian Coalition, the National Rifle Association, home-schoolers and antiabortion activists as “threatening to what it means to be a American” during a 1994 speech to the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Warner, who was executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party when those comments were allegedly made, responded by noting that his sister home-schools her children and that he has long had a reputation for being a supporter of gun rights.

Source: 2008 VA Senate debate reported in Washington Post Sep 2, 2008

Rick Santorum: Expose kids to legitimate debate of evolution & creationism

The Seattle-based nonprofit Discovery Institute spends more than $1 million a year for research, polls and media pieces supporting intelligent design. Some evolution opponents are trying to use Bush's No Child Left Behind law, saying it creates an opening for states to set new teaching standards. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a Christian who draws on Discovery Institute material, drafted language accompanying the law that said students should be exposed to "the full range of scientific views that exist."

"Anyone who expresses anything other than the dominant worldview is shunned and booted from the academy," Santorum said in an interview. "My reading of the science is there's a legitimate debate. My feeling is let the debate be had."

Discovery Institute raised money for "Unlocking the Mystery of Life," a DVD shown on PBS stations. The institute has sponsored opinion polls and underwrites research for books sold in secular and Christian bookstores.

Source: Peter Slevin in Washington Post, p. A1 Mar 14, 2005

Ezola Foster: Focus on Constitution: feds out of school funding & control

Q: What about education?

A: We need to go back to our Constitution. There is no place in our Constitution where the federal government has authority to fund, influence or control education and so we would eliminate the US Department of Education and terminate funding and subsidies to ideological advocacy groups that use our tax dollars to advance their political, religious and cultural agendas. We believe that the control of schools should be in the hands of the parents and local communities.

Source: Interview on “Free Media”, Washington Post Aug 29, 2000

Ezola Foster: Government intervention to blame for school problems

The schools are failing not because there’s not enough money, but because there’s too much government involvement. That is how we reform the schools, by giving them back to parents and communities.“
Source: The Washington Times Aug 12, 2000

Al Gore: Increase the federal role in education

Gore vowed last month: “I will ensure that there is a fully qualified, well-trained teacher in every single classroom, everywhere in this nation, by the end of four years.” Time and again, studies have laid out the obstacles to providing better teachers: Pay is too low to attract and hold the best prospects. Many graduates of teaching colleges are not well prepared. A license to teach is too easy to obtain.

To fulfill his promise, Gore would plunge the federal government into areas of education where it has not gone before, with an unprecedented multi-point plan to improve the pay and licensing of teachers. Historically, federal officials have stayed out of those matters, which have been the sole province of state and local leaders. Gore has cited record school enrollments and massive teacher retirements projected in the coming decade as reasons for a significant expansion of the federal role in education, backed by $16 billion in spending over 10 years.

Source: Kenneth J. Cooper, Washington Post, p. A1 Jun 11, 2000

George W. Bush: $5B reading program; mixing phonics & literature

The centerpiece of Bush’s education plan has become a $5 billion reading program--the most costly if his school proposals, though campaign aides say more are coming. It takes as its model a state program, now in its second year, that Bush created as Texas governor.
As a federal program, it would provide school aid in the same way that Democrats traditionally have despite Republican objections. It is narrowly targeted, not just to disadvantaged students, but to children in kindergarten through second grade who have trouble learning to read.
And it includes federal mandates: States that accept the grants must give diagnostic reading tests in those grades, must provide tutoring to students having difficulty, must use a “balanced” curriculum that combines phonics and literature, and must train teachers how to teach reading.
Source: Kenneth Cooper, Washington Post, p. A6 Apr 2, 2000

George W. Bush: $2B for teachers; mandates are optional

Bush favors converting most federal school aid into block grants, including $2 billion that would support various teacher training and recruitment activities. “It’s impossible for the federal government to dictate reform,” he said. “Reform happens from the bottom up.”
Asked to reconcile that with his reading program, Bush said that states “don’t have to take the money, and the mandates are part of an overall strategy. There’s a structure to it, but a structure based on reasonable practices.”
Source: Kenneth Cooper, Washington Post, p. A6 Apr 2, 2000

George W. Bush: Apply Texas Reading Initiative to US: all 3rd graders read

About the only Bush mandate not in the existing program is the requirement for diagnostic reading tests in the early elementary grades, currently a practice in only a handful of states. Most elementary school teachers assess the reading skills of entering students informally.
Texas has developed a formal diagnostic test of its own and requires districts to use it to detect reading problems among its youngest students. The Bush campaign has credited the Texas Reading Initiative with improving the reading scores of third-graders on the state’s basic skills test after just two years--which usually is not enough time to evaluate any education reform. Texas says the pass rate for third-graders has increased 13% over the period.
Bush’s goal is to assure that every student can read by the end of third grade, the same objective of the federal reading grants and other programs begun during the Clinton administration.
Source: Kenneth Cooper, Washington Post, p. A6 Apr 2, 2000

George W. Bush: $400 deductible when teachers spend own money on classrooms

Bush’s other major proposal is a tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies with their own money. Both national teacher unions supported the proposed $400 deduction, about the average that teachers spend from their own pockets to outfit their classrooms.
Congress is already moving to grant such a tax break. In February the Senate approved a $100 tax credit, 98 to 0, and Republican lawmakers announced they had introduced similar legislation on the same day Bush made his proposal.
Source: Kenneth Cooper, Washington Post, p. A6 Apr 2, 2000

Elizabeth Dole: Supports CA Prop 187 barring illegal aliens from schools

Dole said that she supports a controversial measure to deny public services-except for emergency medical care-to illegal immigrants. Dole agrees with the most charged aspect of the California Proposition 187: the move to bar children of illegal aliens from public schools unless they were born in the US. Because illegal immigration is “a situation where the law is being broken, it sends the wrong signal” to provide benefits, Dole said after the meeting. “The proposition is one I would agree with.”
Source: David Von Drehle, The Washington Post Oct 15, 1999

Al Gore: Reduce class sizes; make college savings plans

I want to bring revolutionary change to our schools. I want to reduce class sizes not just in the early grades, but in all grades. I want to work with parents and teachers to use new technology to tailor learning to each child. I want to make it easier for parents to save for their children’s college tuition -- tax-free and inflation-free. And I believe teachers should be treated like professionals - I want to improve teacher quality, and lift up America’s teachers.
Source: Women for Gore speech, Washington DC Jun 1, 1999

George W. Bush: Establish standards, then let school districts meet them

Bush implied that the model he has followed in Texas, which involves a strong role for the state in establishing and monitoring school standards while giving local districts flexibility to meet them, would also work from Washington. “The role of the federal government, the role of the president is to set a vision that we don’t want anybody left behind,” he said. “Starting with this: high standards.”
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

George W. Bush: Results-oriented systems: OK to link funding to performance

Bush said he would encourage “results-oriented systems” and measure all federal education programs to see whether they assure high standards locally. On Clinton’s State of the Union proposal to link federal money to school performance, a measure many Republicans find intrusive, Bush said, “In principle I would not necessarily oppose it.”
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

George W. Bush: Teachers’ unions obstacle to school innovation

Bush said he would use the presidency to spur competition and innovation in the schools and said he believed teachers’ unions represent an obstacle to those efforts. ‘Yes, I do,’ he said.
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

George W. Bush: Vouchers a priority; encourage their spread

Although he has been unsuccessful in persuading the Texas Legislature to enact a modest school voucher program, Bush said he would make vouchers a priority as president. Noting vouchers were ‘public enemy number one’ to some advocates of public schools, Bush added, “We’ve got to figure out how to encourage the spread of vouchers so as to improve public schools and to convince people it will improve public schools. And we have not done a good job yet in Texas, apparently.”
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

Hillary Clinton: Charters meet needs of failing public school students

Charter schools can play a significant part in revitalizing and strengthening schools by offering greater flexibility from bureaucratic rules, so that parents, teachers, and the community can design and run their own schools, and focus on setting goals and getting results. Many of these schools are meeting the needs of students who had trouble succeeding in more traditional public schools. Every child deserves a quality public education as part of their American birthright.
Source: Remarks at Charter School Meeting, Washington DC Aug 4, 1998

Hillary Clinton: Vouchers siphon off much-needed resources

Charter schools are a way of bringing teachers and parents and communities together-instead of other efforts-like vouchers-which separate people out-siphon much needed resources; and weakening the school systems that desperately need to be strengthened.
Source: Remarks at Charter School Meeting, Washington DC Aug 4, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Washington Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Mar 29, 2014