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On Other Blogs Today: Hanford Leaks and Education Reforms

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By Erica C. Barnett February 15, 2013



1. Bad news from Hanford: The AP reports that a radioactive waste tank is leaking from a tank at the nation's most contaminated nuclear cleanup site, raising concerns about similar tanks at the largely decommissioned facility. At a press conference today, Gov. Jay Inslee said he was "alarmed about this on many levels," including both the existing leak and potential future leaks at other Hanford tanks of similar vintage. 

2. In the News Tribune, Democratic state Sens. Christine Rolfes (D-23) and Andy Billig (D-3) argue that education "reforms" proposed by senate Republicans, including a proposal to rank schools with grades from A to F and a bill that would hold third-graders back if they fail to pass reading tests, are a distraction from the real problem: A lack of funding for "innovative plans already passed into law," including all-day kindergarten, expanded classroom hours, and a new performance evaluation system.

"The truth is that delaying reforms we know will work to discuss ideas like changing the labels on our measurements is nonsense," Rolfes and Billig write. "It is like firefighters debating whether they should paint the truck a different color while the house burns behind them." 

The state supreme court ruled, in the McCleary decision, that the state is failing to meet its constitutional duty to adequately fund education; fulfilling that duty will cost an estimated $1.4 billionin additional spending this biennium.  

3. The libertarian-leaning Washington Policy Center has some good things to say about Gov. Jay Inslee's proposed climate-change legislation, because it would require the state to assess the cost of any strategy to address climate emissions. The rest of it, though: Not so much.  

4. Good news for women!: According to a new report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (via the Economic Opportunity Institute), job growth for women was stronger in January than it was for men, a reversal of earlier trends. 

5. Bad news for women! As the report notes, most of those jobs were in low-paying areas like health care and retail—one reason, perhaps, that the gender gap between women and men working full-time has continued to grow. with full-time employed women earning just 80.9 percent of what full-time employed men earn, according to this (misleadingly headlined) story in Forbes
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