State Relations

Governor proposes creation of Department of Education

Today, Governor Gregoire unveiled a proposal to create a Department of Education.  This is one in a series of proposed government restructuring and reform proposals. 

The newly-created Department of Education would be led by a Secretary of Education appointed by the Governor.  The Secretary would oversee, coordinate and streamline the four major education sectors: Early Learning, K-12, Community and Technical Colleges.  Check out her policy brief for more information.

We’re still waiting for some additional information on how this proposal might directly effect the UW, but the core components of the proposal include:

  • Consolidation of eight state entities into one (including OSPI, Department of Early Learning, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and the Higher Education Coordinating Board)
  • Restructuring 12th grade as a a “launch year” to a student’s career

This proposal is meant as a compliment to recently-released recommendations from the Governor’s Higher Education Task Force, which you can read more about below.

One Response to “Governor proposes creation of Department of Education”

  1. Jim Franklin says:

    Dear State Relations:

    This is actually a comment on your FAQs. The UW continues to ignore key facts about why it’s losing state funding. First, the state needs more folks with math, science, and engineering degrees, not more English, Political Science, and communications baccalaureates. Every time you make across the board cuts, you hurt the majors and departments we need as much as you hurt majors and departments we don’t need. The UW needs to address this, and not just in terms of student demand, but in terms of producing people with skills that are needed in our economy. Let Evergreen be the go to place for a liberal arts education, they can’t do what the UW can to produce people with real skills.

    Second, tenure is protecting dead wood, not academic freedom. If the UW really wants to be efficient, tenure has got to go, and with it faculty who can’t teach or do original research. If you genuinely want efficiency on the academic side of the house, and you want to demonstrate to the legislature that you’re serious about change, abolish tenure.

    Third, union seniority rules are the equivalent of tenure on the staff side. The UW needs to start playing hardball with the unions and stop giving them whatever they want. Unions, like tenure, protect dead wood and stifle change and creativity.

    Whining to the legislature about the budget will continue to be futile so long as the UW declines to address real and systematic change.

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