Here's the latest from The Olympian story today.
From the Governor (who is vastly irritated with all sides the longer this takes)
Never mind its contents: Gov. Chris Gregoire teed off on a Senate Republican budget plan backed by a coalition including three Democrats today, mainly because of the secret process that produced it. The Democrat told reporters it came as a surprise to parties that she has tried to bring together this week for inclusive, “five-corner” budget talks. And she said, the plan includes a charter-schools proposal she will automatically veto.
The governor does have some leverage. She says she won’t sign bills that lawmakers want if they don’t get on the stick and produce a budget that can be supported by 50 House members, 25 Senate members and one signature – hers.
She got me a little worried when I read this:
Asked if she would actually veto bills, Gregoire said: “I gave them a message today. My message is this: I’m not signing your bills. If you keep not making progress I won’t sign your bills.’’
That made it sound like she might sign bills if real progress is made on the budget but then:
Gregoire called the charter schools bill “extraneous” and a “waste of time.” “Get over charter schools,’’ she said, promising a veto.
Friday I'm in love.
From Senator Tom:
The Senate Republican plan includes several reforms – including a call for a limited experiment with charter schools. Sen. Tom said the charter-schools proposal is more limited this time. He said evidence shows charter school efforts actually work if they are done in focused, limited ways like he is proposing for just 10 failing schools.
He may be right on that point in a few cases but sadly, that's not his bill.
I called the Senator's office seeking clarity on the changes. The only change in the bill that they knew of was that it would be just 10 schools. The original bill was 10 schools a year. Are we trying a one-time experiment with ten schools? Even is that were his intent, that's not his bill.
Also, the bill would have to be re-written if it were to serve "failing" schools because (1) "failing" is not the language used in the bill and (2) the bill is not written in such a way that ONLY low-performing or "failing" schools could have charters. It just isn't.
So I'm not really believing the Senator and since his office has nothing else to offer, I don't think there is a real change to this flawed bill.
Write the bill you keep talking about, Senator.
Do NOT stop calling and writing the Governor and as many legislators as possible. Here's a link to legislators' e-mail addresses. Thank you to SPSLeaks.
Leg. Emails Excel
Leg. Emails Word
From Someone said:
Unfortunately - scrib is down for maintainence right now - but when it's up - there is a button that says "download" in upper right corner of screen - click that, save Julian's file to your computer.