Seattle School Board Primary Candidate Platforms | KUOW News and Information

Seattle School Board Primary Candidate Platforms

Six candidates are competing for two Seattle School Board seats in the August 6 primary. Current board members in Districts 4 and 5 are stepping down. In District 7, incumbent School Board Member Betty Patu is running unopposed for a second term.

In the Seattle School District primary, registered voters may only vote for candidates running in their districts. The top two candidates in each race will advance to the general election and appear on ballots citywide.

KUOW's Ann Dornfeld talked with each candidate in the contested races.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that taxpayer-funded grants for playgrounds available to nonprofits under a state program could not be denied to a school run by a church.

"The consequence is, in all likelihood, a few extra scraped knees. But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority.

Today we're going to update a story we first brought you back in 2004. That September, NPR set out to document what may be the most important day in any young child's life — the first day of kindergarten. For parents it's a day filled with hope, anxiety and one big question: Is our child ready?

The answer back then, as far as 5-year-old Sam Marsenison was concerned, was, "No, no, no!"

Left to right: Sage Cook, Christina Joo, Kristin Leong, Joy Williamson-Lott, Saraswati Noel, Jesse Hagopian, Sharonne Navas and Nathan Simoneaux at Town Hall Seattle
Courtesy of Kristin Leong

What value do we attribute to education? It is common to hear how it changes lives, promotes imagination and creativity and invites opportunity. It is often a social endeavor, and thus encourages the wide sharing of ideas and knowledge.

The founders of Washington state clearly valued the concept of education. Article IX of our Constitution states:

“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.”

Photographer and journalist Katie Hayes Luke reported throughout the year on an innovative school for homeless children in Oklahoma City, Okla. We're not using the first names of students and family members to protect their privacy.

On the last day of school, the fifth grade students at Positive Tomorrows perform last-minute rehearsals for the inaugural "Classy Awards."

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

It’s graduation season. For high school students it’s the beginning of a new chapter in their young adult life. For migrant students, graduation marks a special milestone.


Laurelhurst Elementary in northeast Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On a gray day last October, teachers across Seattle wore a shirt that read BLACK LIVES MATTER.

The author, left, in high school.
Courtesy of David Schmader

This story takes place in the year 1986, in the great state of Texas.

Seattle's Department of Transportation is providing $2.3 million to go toward a change in start times for Seattle Public Schools.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

Kids in Seattle Public Schools can expect different start times when they return in the fall. But that kind of change takes money.

How much? $2.3 million.

The author, right, with his teacher, Shawn Kamp.
Courtesy of Nate Martin

Sometimes it feels like we’re missing something in our lives. And sometimes we find what we’re looking for when we least expect it. Kind of like what happened to me.


The Oregon House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that aims to prevent so-called “lunch shaming” in Oregon Schools.

'Week in Review' panel C.R. Douglas, Joni Balter, Jonathan Martin and Essex Porter.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says any future NBA team should play at Seattle Center and picks a development team that includes Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer to renovate KeyArena.

Former FBI director James Comey tells a Senate investigative panel that he was fired because of the investigation he was leading into ties between Russia and President Trump's campaign.

Debate: How should we fund education?

Jun 7, 2017

Bill Radke talks with Northwest News Network's Austin Jenkins about why lawmakers in Olympia need to agree on education funding before they can agree on a budget.

We also hear from Liv Finne and Misha Werschkul about the two plans the state Legislature is considering to fund education. Finne is director of Center for Education at the Washington Policy Center and Werschkul is executive director of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center.

Over and over again, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos deflected a barrage of pointed questions with one answer:

"Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law."

This year, 25 states and the District of Columbia are considering measures that would bar employers from asking job candidates about their prior salary. Last year, two states — California and Massachusetts — adopted similar policies, aimed at trying to narrow the pay gap for women and minorities.

If you know anything about New Orleans public schools, you probably know this: Hurricane Katrina wiped them out and almost all the schools became privately run charters.

Many of those schools subscribed to the no excuses discipline model — the idea that if you crack down on slight misbehavior, you can prevent bigger issues from erupting.

Richard Collins III was stabbed to death at a bus stop on the University of Maryland College Park campus, three days before he was to receive his bachelor’s degree from Bowie State University.

Filiberto Barajas-Lopez, Education professor at the University of Washington
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Chief Sealth International High School in West Seattle is among the most diverse schools in the city. Seventy-five percent of the students are black, Latino, Asian or Native. But a lot of its students of color felt that the teachers tended to pay more attention to the white kids.


Today, more Americans graduate high school and go on to college than ever before. But as the country becomes more diverse — the Census Bureau expects that by 2020 more than half of the nation's children will be part of a minority race or ethnic group — are colleges and universities ready to serve them?

The day Ayden came home from school with bruises, his mother started looking for a new school.

Ayden's a bright 9-year-old with a blond crew cut, glasses and an eager smile showing new teeth coming in. He also has autism, ADHD and a seizure disorder. (We're not using his last name to protect his privacy.) He loves karate, chapter books and very soft blankets: "I love the fuzziness, I just cocoon myself into my own burrito."

"He's so smart but lacks so much socially," says his mother, Lynn.

Fifty thousand signatures on protest petitions. Calls on the president of the university to resign. People on Twitter saying they're mailing back their degrees.

Bill Radke speaks with Tamara Stenman about the Kent School District's decision to halt a trip to Victoria, B.C. Stenman's daughter had planned to go on the trip but the school board canceled the international trip over concerns about border safety for undocumented students and issues with race and equity.

Radke also speaks with Kent School District spokesman Chris Loftis about why the school decided make this change.

Bill Nye, here signing books in New York, says he loves you, Vashon, but you're wrong.
Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP

Bill Nye is back. Netflix is now streaming episodes of “Bill Nye Saves the World,” starring everyone’s favorite bowtie-clad scientist. (And of course, we’re still a bit nostalgic for those olden times when Nye traded in his signature tie for exercise shorts and a cape, all for Seattle’s amusement.)


Toyia Taylor, founder of Young Artists Academy, says this was a dream of hers
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Staff at Southern Heights Elementary School were concerned about an 11-year-old boy. He wouldn't make eye contact with people and was disengaged from those around him.

Then the Young Artists Academy came to the Highline school. The class helps kids in 4th through 10th grades find their voices.


Lactation consultant Camie Goldhammer helps 5-week-old Darius latch onto his mother, Carole Gibson-Smith. Goldhammer, a social worker by training, focuses on breastfeeding in communities of color, particularly in Native communities.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The birth of Camie Goldhammer's first daughter did not go as planned. The labor had gone long, and Goldhammer, a social worker, ended up having an emergency C-section. 

And she was still in shock when a nurse gently helped her open the top of her gown to put the tiny child to her breast.  

Public schools in Washington state would be encouraged—but not required—to hold at least one earthquake drill per year under a measure scheduled for Gov. Jay Inslee's signature Thursday.

The fastest growing Mariachi music program outside of Mexico is in Washington state. A high school Mariachi band from Wenatchee has an award winning director and they’ve won a few themselves.

Since the 18th century, Mariachi has been an integral part of Mexico’s music scene and most students here have Mexican roots. There aren’t many programs like this in the U.S.

It’s a bold move by Washington Realtors and other business groups. They’re taking on the number two Democrat in the Washington House with a TV ad that accuses him of “squeezing” taxpayers.

A poem read by a teen reader at King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The reader, a teen girl, had memorized it and therefore didn't read from the page.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The girl had been raped as a child.

Years later, she was in juvenile detention in Seattle, telling her story to Richard Gold, who was helping her write a poem.

Hunger in America can often seem invisible, but recent studies have shown that it is a problem that affects millions of people, many of them children.

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