To repeat, Senator Rodney Tom, noted turncoat for the Dems, is not going to run again after all (citing health concerns for himself and his elderly father). The Times ran a blathering editorial about how great he was but you really can't take them seriously when they start with, "But this time you might wonder, what will become of the Legislature without him?"
Seriously? Not, "how will the Legislature operate like without him?" but "what will become of it?" Well, like most of life, the Legislature will carry on just fine without him. He isolated himself with his choices and I think he realized it was going to backfire on him in the election.
The Washington State Charter School Commission released its 2014 request for proposals yesterday. According to their press release, last year they received 19 completed proposals. I'll be interested to see how many letters of intent (which was about 25ish last year) that they receive.
To understand, they will fill eight spots for Fall 2015. That means that in addition to the applications approved in 2014 for schools opening in 2015 (that would be seven), another eight can be approved for schools to open in 2015. As they state, "Spots not filled one year are carried to subsequent years."
The 2014 RFP release initiates a six month process, concluding October 9 with the Commission’s decision to authorize charter school applicants. Along the way, applicants will submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by June 13, followed by a full proposal due July 15. From there, applicants will engage in in‐ person interviews in late August, 2014. The final step are public forums held in the first three weeks of September, allowing applicants to address the community their school is designed to serve.
The Supreme Court is expecting some plan from the Legislature by April 30th for fulfilling the McCleary funding ruling. I can only say, good luck with that one. Here's a legal analysis of the situation by former Supreme Court judge, Phil Talmadge (this the Washington Policy Center). Basically (emphasis mine):
Will the Legislature sit idly by and not engage in aggressive fiscal
or constitutional steps in response to the Court’s actions? Many of its
members are restive and have offered what seem to be retributive
measures. Other, troubling actions are possible, limited only by
legislative imaginations. Apart from reducing the size of the Supreme
Court, the Legislature could choose not to fund certain judicial
services. It could also consider a constitutional amendment to give the
Legislature the exclusive authority to define the courts’ jurisdiction
or remedial authority.
None of this is pretty. The prospect of a major constitutional crisis
between the legislative and judicial branch is something no one
While the Legislature certainly must heed the Court’s construction of
article IX, § 1 and clearly define basic education and fund it, the
Court should respect the Legislature’s exclusive constitutional role to
organize K-12 education (article IX, § 2) and to tax appropriate funds
(articles II § , VII, § 4).
Speaking of the Washington Policy Center, they and Superintendent Randy Dorn and OSPI seem to be in a bit of a tennis match over what McCleary actually does say. It's been quite the battle of the press releases and tweets.