Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:37 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Lawmakers: Education is focus of 2013 Legislature

Lawmakers meeting to discuss the start of the 105-day legislative session on Wednesday made it clear that education will be the No. 1 issue in Olympia this year.

Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Lawmakers meeting to discuss the start of the 105-day legislative session on Wednesday made it clear that education will be the No. 1 issue in Olympia this year.

The Supreme Court's McCleary decision on education dollars has been hanging over their heads for more than a year, but it was obvious at The Associated Press Legislative Preview that education will truly overshadow every other issue before the Legislature this winter.

"McCleary is about moving education forward; it's not just about dollars," said Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, who is the presumed new majority leader.

Legislative leaders said that besides funding, they also want to focus on student success, the achievement gap between rich and poor children and among kids from different ethnic groups.

Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, agreed: "We have to get at the opportunity gap, or we won't move the needle."

Lawmakers also are still working out how to share power between Republicans and Democrats in the state Senate and whether a bipartisan approach is workable.

Democrats have a small majority in the chamber, controlling 26 of 49 seats. But with recent moves by Tom and fellow Democrat Sen. Tim Sheldon, of Potlatch, the new "majority caucus" coalition holds a 25-24 advantage.

But despite their ongoing discussions about who will chair Senate committees, both Murray and Tom said education would be a more important issue than politics.

"I'm just excited that education is being talked about as a central component of a legislative session," Tom said, after reminiscing about some empty committee rooms of the past when education issues were being discussed.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising