This Washington

Republicans Put Newly Elected Reform Advocate on Education Committee

By Josh Feit January 4, 2011

Noting that education reform leader, state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44), had been officially ousted from the senate education committee, I did a breakdown of the state senate education committee yesterday, tracking which legislators sided with the reformers (that's the Waiting for Superman crowd, including advocacy groups like Stand for Children who want teacher accountability to be linked to student achievement) and which legislators sided with the Washington Education Association, the teachers' union, which has been resistant to the SFC agenda (which also includes charter schools and more liberal teacher certification standards.)

I based my breakdown on the November election, noting who SFC spent money on and who the WEA spent money on.

I called both the WEA and SFC looking for comment on the committee make up. I haven't heard back from SFC, but WEA spokesman Rich Wood got back to me late in the day.

Wood says:
Teachers and support staff will work with legislators from both parties to make sure our elected leaders understand that cutting billions in education funding will harm our state’s future and our children. That is the biggest challenge we face this legislative session, and protecting our schools and our future is a goal we share with many groups and legislators.

He didn't have anything to say about the legislators that WEA backed or opposed, but did praise committee chair Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-1, Bothell), who wasn't in play this past election, although is an ally of the WEA. "The election was two months ago, and we’re looking ahead to January 10. Sen. McAuliffe is a strong advocate for students and educators. She listens to teachers and respects the profession. We supported her in many previous elections."

As for the house education committee, Stand for Children took two hits there: state Rep. Marcie Maxwell (D-41), who got over $10,000 from SFC in her reelection campaign in November, lost her bid to chair the committee  to Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37), a union supporter. (Maxwell is still on the committee, though). And reform leader Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-47) is no longer on the committee, though he's in leadership now—he's the new house majority leader.

In good news for SFC, two Republicans they endorsed—Rep. Glenn Anderson (R-5) and newly elected Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31)—have both been added to the committee.

Newly elected ed reformer Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31)

Stand for Children spent over $10,000 helping elect Dahlquist. Anderson was a shoo-in incumbent with little competition in November.
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