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News Links | January 9, 2018

January 09, 2018 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Fully funding education, passing capital budget top focus this legislative session

No, the Washington state Legislature has not fully funded education. Yes, it will be the focus of yet another legislative session since the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of McCleary in the 2012 McCleary v. Washington lawsuit. Several Eastside legislators discussed how to fund the mandate at the annual East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition breakfast held at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Thursday morning. ... Rep. Roger Goodman (D-District 45) said the Legislature should not forget about “workforce readiness institutions,” such as Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Bellevue College and Cascadia College, and what those schools need. Senn pointed out passing a capital budget would provide funding to many projects within community and state colleges. In addition, the capital budget would allow the state to start a grant program for schools in need of Career and Technical Education (CTE) equipment. Some examples for use of this funding is Bellevue School District’s need for automotive equipment and Issaquah’s request for a synthetic cadaver.
Bellevue Reporter, Jan. 8, 2018

Transforming lives at Big Bend

Big Bend Community College honored 10 of its own Thursday, celebrating both individual hard work and persistence against adversity as well as the college’s willingness and ability to help those who need help. ... Honored at the banquet were: Francisco Gomez-Rios, Tina Kihn-Thomas, Plasido Lindsey, Zenaida Lopez, Francisco Marmolejo, Erika Martinez, Erika Navarro, Leonardo Paxtian-Ramirez, MaKinZee Rhodes and Michell Valdivia, all of whom overcame tremendous obstacles — including homelessness, violence, and addiction — and worked very hard to get into BBCC and complete their educations.
Columbia Basin Herald, Jan. 8, 2018

South Puget Sound Community College opens Center for Transition Studies

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is passionate about helping every person achieve their educational goals, regardless of their past educational background. The opening of SPSCC’s new Center for Transition Studies is one way they are stepping out of the box of traditional college formatting to affirm their dedication to students that normally are overlooked.
Thurston Talk, Jan. 8, 2018

A look at fast-growing jobs in Clark County

Unemployment in Clark County has been below 5 percent for the last seven months, according to the state Employment Security Department. And many new jobs are arriving to Clark County. The job growth rate here outstrips the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area, as well as Washington, Oregon and the U.S. average. ... Regional labor economist Scott Bailey, who tracks the economies of Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties, said that the data should be not treated as gospel. Career advisers, offered by both Clark College and Lower Columbia College, should be consulted by anyone who is considering setting out on a career path, he said.
The Columbian, Jan. 7, 2018

Editorial: State lawmakers have lot to prove and get done

The Washington Legislature will pick up Monday pretty much where it left off when last year’s record 193-day session ended. It’s not unusual for lawmakers to use the shorter 60-day sessions that follow budget years to tie up loose ends. But this session’s ends are looser than usual, and there are more of them. Along with typical legislative business, lawmakers will have work ahead to meet a deadline for their solution for the state K-12 education funding crisis and complete unfinished work to pass a state capital budget and resolve a water rights issue that blocked that budget. ... Separate from the larger and broader operating budget, the capital budget outlines spending for construction and other public projects spread throughout the state’s 39 counties. The $4 billion capital budget that failed to pass last year included several projects in Snohomish County, including funds to build or improve schools; community, teen and senior centers; as well as a $37.8 million STEM building at Edmonds Community College.
Everett Herald, Jan. 7, 2018

City of Vancouver: Quest for better representation and workplace diversity

In an era where diversity is increasingly promoted, the city of Vancouver’s workforce remains disproportionately male and white, according to a Columbian analysis of city employment data. ... City Manager Eric Holmes acknowledges the problem and vows to do better, but attributes the gender divide to the available candidate pool. ... Clark College acknowledged the similar task at hand about three years ago. College leadership made the decision to place a focus on equitable hiring and diversity. The initiative was headlined by the hiring of Dolly England, the college’s diversity outreach manager. Since she started, faculty and staff diversity has increased 2 percentage points from 15 percent to 17 percent.
The Columbian, Jan. 7, 2018

Tech jobs training

Bellevue College helps fill need for tech job education. [The tech industry] is still booming in Washington, and many people are learning new skills to help them ride this wave, which is very important. Joining us now this morning to talk more about this new trend is Al Lewis and Jodi Laughlin, both with Bellevue College. 
KING 5, Jan. 6, 2018

Yakima Valley College math professor makes a good side gig out of bad puns

Math is one of Ben Mayo’s favorite subjects. He teaches math at Yakima Valley College, has written two math books that he uses in class and likes working through math problems with his students. But it’s not all about numbers for Mayo, who along with his degree in math education from Central Washington University also earned a degree in music from Whitworth University with a minor in religion. And he’s written two other books, neither of which have anything to do with math. Those books — “What’s the Difference Between ...? Vol. 1” and “What’s the Difference Between ...? Vol. 2” — are self-published collections of twisted phrases leading to bad puns, the book covers note. We’re talking eye-rolling, groan-inducing bad puns.
Yakima Herald, Jan. 6, 2018

Where does the money from the sugary drink tax go?

Seattle's sugary drink tax is now in effect across the city and leaders of the effort say it is expected to generate about $15 million in the first year alone. They say the money generated will go toward food programs for those in need, early learning, and other education programs. ... Proposed investments ($4,120,639) awaiting review by CAB in Spring 2018: 13th year Promise Scholarship – Allows local graduating seniors to attend South Seattle College tuition-free for one year.
KING 5, Jan. 5, 2018

LCC announces 'Benefactors of the Year'

The Lower Columbia College Foundation has named James and Marianne Mitchell as 2017-2018 Benefactors of the Year. The award recognizes benefactors with a history of providing charitable donations to the foundation. The couple both graduated from LCC in 1951. Over the past 20 years, they have given more than $200,000 to the college — including the establishment of two scholarships. The Jim and Marianne Mitchell Scholarship, established in 2005, pays full tuition for two business students annually. The Eric James Mitchell Memorial Endowed Scholarship, established in 2017 in honor of the Mitchell’s grandson, supports computer science majors.
Longview Daily News, Jan. 5, 2018

EvCC course: Traumatic history and present-day relationships

An instructor at Everett Community College is looking to spark conversations about how people remember the past, and the way it shapes identities and relationships today. The project has earned a $90,285 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The money is to be stretched over two years to create curriculum and bring in expert speakers. English instructor Steven Tobias is heading up the work. He hopes to focus in the first year on Northwest Indian history and culture, slavery in the U.S., and the Holocaust. Second-year topics could include war in the Middle East, terrorism and global immigration.
Everett Herald, Jan. 5, 2018

Despondent Seattle teen found a future through film; now he’s giving back

When Vannady Keo left his mother’s Kent home after his freshman year of high school to live with his father in Seattle, he could not have foreseen the importance of the decision. As a freshman at Kentlake High School, Keo was struggling with depression, not doing well at school and at odds with his Cambodian-born parents. ... Being in the nation’s capital, meeting U.S. Senators Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, ignited something in Keo. Where once he didn’t consider his future, he now saw a path. He will be working toward his two-year degree at Seattle Central College come January, with plans to transfer to the University of Washington and eventually get into politics.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 4, 2018

Technical training grant to benefit central Washington

 North central Washington, including Grant and Adams counties, will receive a grant to improve science and technology education and training. The $855,000 grant is part of the statewide “Career Connect Washington” initiative. The grant “has two main purposes,” said Aaron Parrott of the North Central Washington Workforce Development Council. Some training programs will be aimed at young people, while other training and apprentice programs will be targeted at adults. All classes will focus on careers in technical fields, including manufacturing, computer maintenance and medicine. Among the partners for the grant are Big Bend Community College and the Grant County PUD.
Columbia Basin Herald, Jan. 4, 2018

Trends | Horizons | Education

Closing gaps in Tennessee

Tennessee has received numerous accolades for its push over the past few years to increase college access. But a recent report on the retention and completion rates of the state’s most vulnerable college students show that access alone isn’t enough if Tennessee wants to reach its goal for 55 percent of adults to hold a degree or certificate by 2025. Complete Tennessee, an education advocacy group, found that despite increases in overall retention rates during the last five years at the state’s public and private institutions, African-American students at the state’s community colleges still remain 10 percentage points behind their peers. Likewise, three-year community college graduation rates remain relatively low, averaging 20 percent in 2016. The state is ranked 44th in the country in degree attainment, according to the Lumina Foundation. The group also found that adult enrollment across the state’s colleges has dropped by 25 percent since 2011.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 9, 2018

Adapting to pressure

Although higher education's doubters are skilled at making bold proclamations about coming apocalypses, a considerable number of scholars and commentators have developed middle-of-the-road analyses that acknowledge challenges but remain more optimistic about colleges' and universities' future prospects. A notable recent example comes from two economics professors at the College of William & Mary, Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman. They published a book last year, The Road Ahead for America's Colleges & Universities, that simultaneously raised worries about mounting pressures on colleges and universities and predicted many four-year institutions can adapt and appeal to college students long into the future. Their latest work follows their 2011 book, Why Does College Cost So Much? and they have long argued that broad economic forces, not inefficiency, have driven up college costs.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 9, 2018

Washington state needs to do better at career education, audit report says

Washington could be doing a much better job in its high schools and community colleges to guide students toward careers that pay well but don’t necessarily require a four-year college degree. That’s the conclusion of a 78-page report by the state auditor’s office, which makes specific recommendations for how to improve the state’s system of “career and technical education,” or CTE. In a growing recognition that not all students need a four-year college degree to get a good job, the report urges school districts and the state’s education department to help schools offer classes that teach high-demand skills, and to make sure students in all parts of the state have access to those classes.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 8, 2018

Are prospective students about to disappear?

Yes, everyone in admissions knows that certain groups of students — those who graduate from good high schools and have parents able to pay a significant share or all of their tuition and other college expenses — are shrinking in number. And the situation is more severe in the Northeast and Midwest, where populations are shrinking, than in other parts of the country. Those demographic realities, known for years, have led colleges to adjust strategies: new programs to attract adult students. Online education. More outreach to parts of the country where the population is growing. Attracting full-pay international students. Some combination of those and other ideas will work for most institutions, enrollment professionals have said. But what if they are wrong? What if the demographics are about to get much worse for higher education than the experts have expected? Optimists and plenty of others in higher education may be concerned by Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education, in which Nathan D. Grawe suggests a bleak outlook for most institutions when it comes to attracting and enrolling students.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 8, 2018

Who is studying online (and where)

The number of college students enrolled in at least one online course — and the proportion of all enrolled students who are studying online — continued to rise at U.S. institutions in the 2016 academic year, newly released federal data show. The statistics, part of a major release of provisional data on enrollments, employment and other topics from the Education Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, provide the most up-to-date information on enrollments in online and distance education.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 5, 2018

Opposition and legal challenges don’t deter Washington’s new charter-school leader

After a long career advocating for traditional public education, Patrick D’Amelio recently stepped up to lead the Washington State Charter Schools Association, which aims to spread the word about this locally untested model. Charters are public schools funded with state dollars but operated here by private nonprofits, and the longest-running in Washington has been open only since 2015. D’Amelio’s association bills itself as dedicated to “systemically underserved students.” But nationally, charters have a spotty record on that score. Education Lab caught up with D’Amelio over the holiday break to ask why things would be any different here, and who’s enrolling their children in charters, despite continuing challenges to their legality and the fact that Seattle’s school board vigorously opposes their presence.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 5, 2018

Kansas counties help residents pay student debt

Most of the counties in Kansas are offering to pay off up to 20 percent (or up to $15,000 over five years) of the student debt of new residents who hold college degrees, according to CNBC. To qualify for the recruitment perk, which the Kansas Department of Commerce is administering to help give a boost to rural areas, applicants must have an employer or county "sponsor" that agrees to match half of the repayment. So far 58 employers are participating. The state has received 3,400 applications, CNBC reports, with one-third coming from out of state.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 5, 2018

Teaching newsletter: Don’t run from emotions in the classroom

Hello, happy New Year, and welcome to this week’s issue of Teaching. Today, Dan Berrett talks about the use of emotion in teaching and learning, we look at some research on the utility of science labs, and we ask how you handle students’ anxiety.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 4, 2018

Politics | Local, State, National

Few details on tougher borrower-relief standards

Department of Education officials said Monday that they do not have any estimates of how many borrowers would clear new, tougher standards proposed for claims of loan relief when a student is defrauded or misled by their college. The department’s proposed language would require a student borrower to demonstrate clear and convincing evidence that their college intended to deceive them or had a reckless disregard for the truth in making claims about job-placement rates, credit transferability and other outcomes.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 9, 2018

Congress changed 529 college savings plans, and now states are nervous

If you're like most Americans, you don't have a 529 college savings plan. If you're like most Americans, you don't even know what it is. All the more reason to keep reading. That's because, with the new tax law, Republicans have made important changes to 529 plans that will affect millions of taxpayers, not just the ones saving for college.
NPR, Jan. 8, 2018

Opinion: Here’s what lawmakers should focus on in 2018

State lawmakers can accomplish only so much in the short time they are scheduled to convene in Olympia this year. To make the most of the 60-day legislative session that begins Monday, they must stay laser focused on a handful of key priorities. Chief among these is continuing work on the McCleary school-funding case. The state Supreme Court’s November ruling said that although lawmakers came up with a good plan last year to meet the state’s obligation to fully fund public schools, their plan takes effect one year too late.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 5, 2018

The fight continues on school-funding in face of $1 billion court order

Headed into the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers remain divided on paying roughly $1 billion to meet a court order requiring Washington to speed up a fix for its public school system. Top Republican and Democratic officials debated Thursday at the Associated Press Legislative Preview in Olympia over whether to use state reserves to pay the sum, use new taxes to raise the cash or to ignore the state Supreme Court altogether.
The News Tribune, Jan. 4, 2018

Washington revises school accountability plan with feedback from Education Department

Washington state is moving closer to adopting a new system for tracking school quality and student progress. The state superintendent’s office has gotten feedback on its plan from the federal Department of Education and will submit its revised version on Thursday. States have to turn in these accountability plans to the federal government to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind law.
KNKX, Jan. 3, 2018

Last Modified: 2/9/18 11:42 AM
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