Today, Education Week released
Quality Counts, an annual report on how states compare in education. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the report.
OLYMPIA - January 12, 2012 - The new Quality Counts report is another indicator of just how inadequate education funding is.
Our overall grade, based on six categories, was a C, and we ranked 38th in the nation. That’s not where we should be.
In one of those categories – funding – we received a C. But that grade is deceiving: it’s based on a B+ and an F.
The B+ came in funding equity. Compared to other states, the difference in funding between rich and poor districts is minor. The F came in education spending. In its analysis of all states, Education Week ranked Washington 42nd in per-pupil spending and 44th in state expenditures as a percent of state taxable resources.
This is not a surprise. It underscores the Supreme Court’s Jan. 5
McCleary v. State ruling, which held that Washington is failing to provide ample funding for education.
Inadequate funding accounts for other low grades as well. Among the reasons the State received a D- for teacher professional development are the state’s failure to finance professional development for all districts, the lack of a formal teacher induction and the lack of a mentoring program for all new teachers.
The report does include a few bright spots. Washington received one A grade: Economy and Workforce. Our K-12 system was deemed to be very successful in work readiness, offering career-tech diplomas, industry certification and pathways to earn career-tech credits for post-secondary opportunities.
Despite the negative grades, every day I am impressed at the effort that our teachers and other school staff make. I worry, though, that continued cuts to education funding will hurt that effort. Certainly our Supreme Court has weighed in on the subject. I hope the Legislature responds by fully funding education.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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