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.

The teachers strike in West Virginia may have ended last week when Gov. Jim Justice signed a law giving educators a 5 percent pay increase, but the fight in other states is just warming up.

"You can make anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 more by driving 15 minutes across the state line," said Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association. "We're having trouble keeping and attracting young teachers."

Scout Smissen, a 17-year-old junior at Roosevelt High School becomes emotional while speaking to a crowd of hundreds on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

They wrote it in marker on poster boards; they turned it into a trending hashtag; they spelled it with their bodies across football fields: “Enough.”

High school students attend 'Hamilton' at the Paramount in Seattle, 2018.
Courtesy of STG/Christopher Nelson

What if the first live theater you ever saw was "Hamilton"?

That was the experience of many of the 2,800 students from low-income high schools across the state who got to see the hottest show in town on a field trip.

Planned student walkouts Wednesday bring attention to reducing the threat of school shootings. One group of Northwest parents is pushing schools to prepare better for another kind of disaster, a major earthquake. 

Wednesday morning, at 10 o'clock, students at schools across the country will walk out of their classrooms. The plan is for them to leave school — or at least gather in the hallway — for 17 minutes. That's one minute for each of the victims in last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The walkout has galvanized teens nationwide and raised big questions for schools about how to handle protests.

"Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?" Lesley Stahl asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a 60 Minutes interview that is drawing lots of attention.

"I'm not so sure how exactly that happened," DeVos responded in the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS.

KUOW PHOTO/Angela Nhi Nguyen

Community members gathered Thursday night to have an open conversation about stopping gun violence. Youth empowerment was an emerging theme. The crowd asked a panel questions about what’s being done about the issue. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan talked about the importance of preparing youth to vote.

More than half of transgender teachers face harassment or discrimination in the workplace, according to an NPR Ed survey of transgender and gender-nonconforming educators.

The survey of 79 trans and gender-nonconforming teachers from the U.S. and Canada found that the harassment they face ranges widely: from 20 percent who reported verbal harassment, to 17 percent who said they'd been asked to change how the present themselves, such as their clothing, to two teachers who said they'd been fired.

After Parkland, there have been many calls to make schools a "harder target" — for example, by arming teachers. But there's a decent amount of research out there on what actually makes schools safer, and most of it doesn't point to more guns.

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC BY ND 2.0)/

Kim Malcolm talks with Seattle Times reporter Neal Morton about why some wealthier school districts are getting a bigger boost in funding than poorer districts under the state's education budget.

File: Dec. 27, 2012, Cori Sorensen, a fourth grade teacher in Highland, Utah, receives firearms training from personal defense instructor Jim McCarthy during concealed weapons training for 200 Utah teachers.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Following a mass shooting at a Florida high school two weeks ago, lawmakers and President Donald Trump have reintroduced the idea of arming teachers. In Washington, there are a few school districts that already have armed staff.

Toppenish School District near Yakima was the first to have guns on campus in 2014. Nineteen armed administrators are on school grounds including Superintendent John Cerna.

Could you teach computer class without a computer?

For Owura Kwadwo Hottish, 33, an information and communications technology teacher in Ghana, it's his only option. At the middle school where he works, there are no computers. So using colored chalk, he painstakingly draws a version of the computer screen onto the blackboard.

Updated at 11:09 a.m. ET

Student loan debt collectors have been accused of deceiving and abusing student borrowers and have been sued by attorneys general in a handful of states. Now, they may be getting some relief.

The debt collectors, that is. Not their customers.

In an internal document obtained by NPR, the U.S. Department of Education, under Secretary Betsy DeVos, argues that the nation's loan servicers should be protected from state rules that may be far tougher than federal law.

Students walk in front of Gerberding Hall on Thursday, November 16, 2017, on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington associate professor Jennifer Stuber about suicide prevention on college campuses. Last week, the Washington state Senate passed a bill that would fund suicide prevention programs at colleges across the state.

Stuber is faculty director for Forefront Suicide Prevention at the UW.

Seattle Preschool Program teacher Hien Do, center, dances with her students on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at the ReWA Early Learning Center at Beacon, in Seattle, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray pitched his $81 million subsidized preschool program to voters in 2014, this was his promise: high-quality, affordable early learning that would help bridge the opportunity gap between rich and poor, black and white.

Police officers form a line on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, outside of a College Republicans rally at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Seattle University communication professor Caitlin Carlson about the tension between protecting free speech on campus and protecting the rights of students, faculty and staff. 

A police officer pepper sprays a group of protesters on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, outside of a College Republicans rally at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Five people were arrested at a College Republicans rally on the University of Washington campus Saturday that attracted a large crowd of protesters.

Buses are lined up inside the First Student bus lot on Lake City Way Northeast on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Update 2/10/2018 7:20 p.m.: First Student and the Teamsters Union 174 have reached a contract agreement and bus service will resume on Monday morning.

Original Post: The Seattle Public School bus drivers' strike may be coming to an end after more than a week. Yellow school bus contractor First Student entered into mediation with the union representing the drivers Thursday. Representatives from both parties now say they’ve reached a tentative agreement.

Washington State Troopers try to keep counter-protesters back from a protest by the conservative group Patriot Prayer, Thursday, June 15, 2017, at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the University of Washington from charging the UW College Republicans group a $17,000 security fee for a rally on campus this weekend.

The College Republicans have invited the head of the conservative group Patriot Prayer to speak in Red Square at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Several groups have said they plan to protest the event.  

Mike Browning, left, protests with other members of Teamsters Local 174 on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, outside of the First Student bus lot on Lake City Way Northeast in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

One week into the Seattle Public School bus driver strike, the two sides may be edging closer to a resolution.

Yellow school bus contractor First Student will enter into mediation with the union representing the drivers Thursday. This will be the first meeting between the two sides since the strike began. 

Flickr Photo/Emory Maiden (CC-BY-NC-2.0)/

Kim Malcolm talks with Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid about her district's new approach to assessing students for giftedness. In January, the district implemented a universal screening process for its Highly Capable program.

School bus drivers with Teamsters Local 174 strike on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, outside of the First Student bus lot on Lake City Way Northeast in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle public school bus drivers began a strike Thursday morning, and it's unclear how long the picketing will last. 

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Lewis Maday-Travis looks like the cool teacher every kid hopes to have. He’s 28 years old, with ear piercings, a geek-chic bow tie, and an easy grin.

Communities and schools across Washington state are getting some welcome news. After a months-long delay, lawmakers Thursday night passed a $4.3 billion, two year state construction budget.

Going to college can be hard, but it’s especially difficult for students experiencing homelessness. Washington lawmakers are exploring ways state colleges could help these students.

First Student is under contract with Seattle Public Schools and serves about 12,000 kids daily.
Flickr / tncountryfan

The yellow school buses in Seattle could come to a halt again. The roughly 400 public school drivers who work for First Student in Seattle have rejected the latest contract offer from the company.

Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Kim Malcolm speaks with Senator Andy Billig (D - Spokane) about what Democrats hope to accomplish during the 2018 legislative session. Billig is deputy majority leader of the Washington State Senate. 

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Trying to change Obama-era rules, the Trump administration is one step closer to making it more difficult for students to have loan debt wiped clean in cases involving fraud by universities.

The Associated Press is reporting today that of the 100 largest public universities in the country, more than half don’t keep track of student suicides. That includes the University of Oregon, which the AP says either does not keep or does not consistently collect the data.  

Public records released by Central Washington University this week show professor and GOP state Rep. Matt Manweller is barred from contacting past or present students while the school investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him.