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June 4, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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June 4, 2015
 

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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, June 4, 2015 Defining }r  One thing is for certain -- and that is the release of the Washington House of Repre- sentatives 2015-2017 budget proposal on Monday shows there are still signs of life in Olympia among our elected representatives. That may be a small comfort to K-12 educators around the state who have been trying to send a message to legislators to do something about education via everything from emails to one-day teacher walkouts. Both the House and Senate proposals would add between $1.3 bil- lion - $2.2 billion for educators' compensation to the state's side of the ledger, but in different ways. One question is will either method, or even both together in some form, meet the state Supreme Court's findings in the 2012 McCleary decision that the state isn't meeting its constitu- tional duty to provide for basic education by properly funding it. But the big question is whether increasing funding will lead to a better educated, more well-rounded and pro- ductive member of society basic education coming out of the K-12 system. Many people, educators and non-educators, feel there's more to the puzzle, such as reducing class sizes, less focus on stan- dardized testing as a measure- ment of education success and funding or eliminating unfund- ed mandates - both state and federal. Perhaps one way to deter- mine if any of these, or what combination thereof, will lead to a better educated, productive member of society post-gradu- ation is to know the goals of basic education as outlined by the Legislature. Fortunately, we have those under the Revised Code of Washington RCW 28A.150.210 titled, amazingly, "Basic education - Goals of school districts." There's a lot there, particu- larly when you move into the footnote findings that incorpo- rate legislative actions after the original codes were written. But the original wording is excel- lent, and is as follows: "A basic education is an evolving program of instruc- tion that is intended to provide students with the opportunity to become responsible and respectful global citizens, to contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families and communities, to OPINIOIq in Washington explore and understand differ- ent perspectives, and to enjoy- productive and satisfying lives. "Additionally, the state of Washington intends to pro- vide for a public school sys- tem that is able to evolve and adapt in order to better focus on strengthening the educa- tional achievement of all stu- dents, which includes high expectations for students and gives them the opportunity to achieve personal and academic success. To these ends, the goals of each school district, with the involvement of parents and' community members, shall be to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills essential to: (1) Read with compre- hension, write effectively and communicate successfully in a variety of ways and settings and with a variety of audiences; (2) Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physi- cal, and life sciences; civics and history, including differ- ent cultures and participation in representative government; geography; arts; and health and fitness; (3) Think analytically, logically and creatively and to integrate technology literacy and fluency as well as different experiences and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems; and (4) Understand the impor- tance of work and finance and how performance, effort, and decisions directly affect future career and educational oppor- tunities." These are the yardsticks we should be familiar with and using when measuring the suc- cess of our K-12 educational system. Several members of the Cheney Free Press editorial board who are closest age-wise to the current state of instruc- tion in Washington felt the classes they took in high school were less about meeting these goals than about taking and passing tests so their school could receive more funding. That's something that im- pacts critical thinking, and hence impacts not only the con- dition of our society, but our ability to function effectively in the international community. Discussions of compensa- tion, class sizes, measurements of academic progress and of instructor effectiveness along with learning opportunities for students of all levels is wonder- ful and encouraged. But they should be done with these four goals in mind. Write to the Poin00 Staff Reporter Cheers to teachers in Cheney and Medical Lake, plus a significant number of other educa- tors who chose not to dis- rupt the lives of their real bosses, the taxpayers - and more im- portantly stu- Paul Delaney dents - to be part of recent statewide roll- the Washington Education Association. Intended to rattle the cages of lawmakers, WEA and their members want more money devoted to multiple fronts in education, but so does every- one else. In the lead-up to the May 27 demonstration in our area of Eastern Washington by educators in Spokane School District 81 and in in the East Valley School District, each time I heard or read a news FREE PRESS Vol. 119-No. 7 Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Pressman Mark Cordes Sales Steve Barge DeeAnn Gibb Front Office Venus Bratsveen Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart Editor John McCallum Reporters Paul Delaney AI Stover Graphics Brittani Montecucco John Myers Bookkeeper/Office Manager Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, A1 Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publish- ing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical post- age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Cheney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emall: cfp @cheneyfreepress.com www.cheneyfreepress.com The Free Press re- quests that contributors observe the following dead- lines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m.. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 a.m. a couple of things stood out. One, there was as much rhetoric and emotion as any- one can possibly handle. What was seriously lack- ing were numbers with which to put some context into the issue of how - and how much or little - we really do fund public education in the state. One version of the Wash- ington state Senate's budget has proposed nearly $38 bil- Letters ing over the next two years. Of that, according to Rich Wood, spokesman for the WEA, the chunk for education is already at $15 billion, or just under 40 percent of the 2015-17 biennial budget. But WEA also wants to see full implementation of 1-1351, the class-size reduction mea- sure. Promotion of the initia- tive pulled at the heartstrings about how things would im- prove in the classroom with passage. 2-percent (50.96 to 49.04)vote, but one has to wonder if the estimated $6 billion it will cost just for staffing was ever taken into consideration. And no one's much mentioned where those additional 15,000 teachers and administrators will work, nor the cost. In the most recent dispute I was also happy to learn that in the West Valley School District, where I pay some See Write to the Point page 5 History provides understanding of present-day issues Change the name of the geographical area, throw in the names of the major participants and one could say we are back in the days of the then - so called "ad- visors." It was the spring of 1968 - and Tet was near. My company was assigned to locate the main Army advi- sor on the "Street Without Joy," as he was the main liaison between MACV and the ARVN division assigned to that area. He sat there on his canvas field chair with his cooler filled with ice and beer, along with his faithful M-1 Carbine and PRC 25 for radio contact to MACV. From the first impression he had the Thousand-mile stare on his face, and one could tell he had been too long in the "ville" and rice paddies. History doesn't repeat itself - too many variables. But, what it does do is pro- vide a basis of understand- See Letters page 5 rt iiii{ii!iiiiiiiii ilili!iiiiiiiiiiii{ii!ii!iiiii! rr!:iiri;; ;;;::iiii;irt; John McCaUum AI Stover Paul Delaney Editor Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Main contact for ed#oral coverage. Cot,. Covers all Medical Lake government, Covers all Medical Lake High Sctr3ol and ers all Cheney government, community, community and school district news, as Eastern Washington University sports school district news and events, as well well as Airway Heights news and Cheney and news. Contact for miscellaneous as Cheney High School sports. High School sports, sports. jmac@chenevfr, ress.com al@cheneyfree.oress.com pdelaney@chenevfreep, ress.com .... isn't there a better way :o address school funding issues? # By PAUL DELANEY ing walkout orchestrated by story on the strike/walkout lion in general state spend- It passed by just shy of a