File photo by Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Lawmakers in Olympia are in a special session to finalize the Washington state budget. Some teachers’ unions have decided to walk out for a day to appeal for more money in the K-12 budget.

Brianhe / Wikimedia -

Washington voters are narrowly passing a class-size measure that comes with a multi-billion dollar price tag.

Washington Supreme Court Finds State In Contempt

Sep 11, 2014
Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

In an unprecedented move, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled the state in contempt of court in the McCleary school funding case. However, the justices will wait to impose sanctions until after the 2015 legislative session to give the legislature time to "purge the contempt."

"[C]ontempt is the means by which a court enforces compliance with its lawful orders when they are not followed," reads the five-page order signed by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen.

Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Oso landslide, with 41 dead and two still missing, could be the the third-worst natural disaster in Washington history after the Stevens Pass Avalanche of 1910 and the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A late vote in the Washington legislature has the children of immigrants cheering - literally.

Oregon Board Hikes Tuition For College Students

Jun 21, 2013

Oregon college students can expect to pay more for their education next fall. The state Board of Higher Education on Friday approved a series of tuition increases at Oregon's eight public university campuses.

The increases vary from school to school but for in-state undergraduates, the tuition hike averages out to between 5 percent and 6 percent.

Universities say the increases are necessary to keep up with rising costs.

But students told the board the price hikes would put a college degree out of reach for more people.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network files

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On the campaign trail, Washington Governor Jay Inslee talked about financing education by growing the economy. Now the Democrat proposes to raise $1.2 billion for schools by extending some tax increases and ending some tax breaks.

In Spokane last June I moderated the first gubernatorial debate between Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna. And I put this question to both candidates: if elected, would you ask voters to support a new tax for schools to respond to the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling that the state is not adequately funding education.

Lawmakers Examine Use Of School 'Seclusion Cells'

Mar 4, 2013
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. - When kids get severely out of control in class, some schools place the students in a "seclusion cell." It's sort of a "time-out" room where kids can calm down without posing a risk to themselves or others.

A measure moving through the Oregon legislature would ban the use of the starkest version of these cells. But some mental health advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough.

Gregg M. Erickson / Flickr

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon legislature's chief budget writers released their proposed two-year spending plan Monday. The two Democrats in charge of drawing up the budget outline say all of the numbers are subject to negotiation. But state Senator Richard Devlin and state Representative Peter Buckley say it will be hard to persuade them to lower the $6.75 billion they've set aside for K-12 education.

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr

SALEM, Ore. – Momentum is building in Salem for a bill to give children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition rates at Oregon universities. Governor John Kitzhaber threw his weight behind the idea Monday.

Students whose parents brought them into the country illegally pay out-of-state tuition at Oregon universities and community colleges. That can be about twice the in-state rate. Under this bill, these students could qualify as a resident only if they meet certain conditions, such as attending an Oregon high school for at least three years.