OLYMPIA – Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, chair of the Senate K-12 Education & Early Learning Committee, released the following statement today:
“We must focus on a high quality education for all children. The majority of my colleagues, the governor and I believe now is the time to focus on funding our existing reform efforts. We previously passed a massive overhaul of our education system to make sure every child has a high quality education. We have yet to fulfill this promise.
“We must make sure every school is a high quality school. Now is not the time to redirect our limited resources away from existing efforts into a new promise.
“Charter schools have had mixed results and would only reach some of our children. The public has said no to charter schools three times, and I believe we need to listen to them.
“Since Jan. 23, I have been trying to work with Sen. Rodney Tom, Sen. Steve Litzow and the Republicans on my committee to reach a compromise on the teacher evaluation bills. I agreed to move both Sen. Tom’s and the governor’s evaluation bills out of committee, and would have attempted to move many other important bills. We have over 40 education bills in committee from early learning to special education to charter schools. I was told by Sen. Tom and Sen. Litzow nothing would move without the charter school bill.
“The recent McCleary decision held that we need to amply fund our current K-12 system. Instead of putting money into a select few charter schools, money should be focused on our existing classrooms.
“In all my years, I have never been unable to move bills out of committee. I am extremely disappointed Sen. Tom, Sen. Litzow and the Republicans refused to negotiate. It is our children’s loss.
“However, this breakdown in negotiations today will not be the end of the story. I will continue to work for a compromise and find a solution that will help all our students.”
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For information: Alison Dempsey Hall, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-77887