McAuliffe still hopes for a hearing on bill for State support for basic education

Democratic state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe still hopes for a hearing on her bill to move Washington toward meeting the state Supreme Court’s order to provide full state support for basic education within five years.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee didn’t hear the bill before the deadline for consideration of bills that originate in the Senate, but McAuliffe said Tuesday that she hopes to revive the bill as one that is “necessary to implement the budget.”

After the new Republican chairman of the Senate committee on early learning and K-12 education blocked the bill. McAuliffe got it moved to the Ways and Means Committee, but leaders of that committee also blocked it.

The bill would move the state toward full support by 2018 of the basic-education standards set in 2009 when McAuliffe was chairwoman of of the Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12 Education.

McAuliffe had expected to continue as committee chairwoman when voters elected a majority of Democrats to the Senate in the 2012 election, but she was demoted to the position of ranking member when two conservative Democrats joined with Republicans to form a majority coalition and install a Republican in the chair of the education committee.

After the new education chairman wouldn’t call a hearing on McAuliffe’s bill, she persuaded him to move it to the Ways and Means Committee, but it has yet to get a hearing there.

McAuliffe said that legislators need to talk about how they will reach the state Supreme Court’s order to provide full state support for basic education by 2018.

Meanwhile, another McAuliffe bill has passed the Senate and moved to the House of Representatives. It would set standards for improvement of student learning and establish a series of benchmarks for measuring the progress of schools toward reaching educational goals.

McAuliffe represents the 1st Legislative District, including most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com

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