Naturally, that means Pedersen's seat will be open and there are - so far - three candidates vying for the appointed position. (It seems a complicated process who gets the appointment. It was explained that the PCOs for the 43rd will vote, their rank order votes for all three are then sent to the King County Council who will make the final decision.
Pedersen and Chopp spoke to the crowd about coming legislative issues. Their overriding message was that the Dems need to regain control of the Senate in order to move key issues forward including fully-funding education (and they both believe some kind of new revenue source must be found to fulfill the McCleary ruling mandate).
- the feds are not happy with our state's teacher evaluation (save Seattle) because it does not measure student growth. They could limit Title One funding based on this issue.
- McCleary is supposed to be enacted to the tune of $4B by 2017
- I asked about Senator Tom's desire for public schools to be rated from A-F (and I added, "If you support this, would you want to be ranked from A-F for your work?" Both laughed.) Speaker Chopp snorted dismissively and said it was a dumb idea. Pedersen related that his son (one of four children he has so SPS will be still growing) just started kindergarten at Stevens and that he and his husband are very happy there. His son's teacher has been a teacher for 27 years, 17 at Stevens and the last 10 as a kindergarten teacher.
- They were also asked about charter schools and visibly stiffened. Pedersen said, for the record, that he had been against the measure but it barely passed and now was law. He said that it was a "pilot" for charters and that "we have to protect the public school system that serves the vast majority of our students."