Dispute Derails Wash. Education Reform Bills

Courtney Williams's picture
Monday, February 6, 2012

Washington’s education system will not get the overhaul it desperately needs due to squabbling amongst state lawmakers.

Two bills designed to reshape education in the state stalled in committee Friday, missing a key deadline.

Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, said education committee chairwoman Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, refused to allow a vote on measures related to charter schools and teacher evaluations. Tom accused McAuliffe of simply following the requests of teachers’ unions and failing to consider the impacts on students.

McAuliffe disagreed with the description of their quarrel saying she opposes the charter school bill and will not allow it to pass out of committee, even though she acknowledged it would have the votes to do so. She said the seven members who support the measure — two Democrats and five Republicans — have told her they won’t take a vote on anything if she won’t allow the charter school bill to go forward.

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