Youth & Education | KNKX

Youth & Education

Stories and features about education in the Pacific Northwest. Including stories from Washington state and the United States. 

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401(K) 2012 / Flickr

The holidays can leave many of us feeling financially depleted, but instead of trying to forget about that, BECU says it’s an opportunity for a family discussion on how to manage money.

Brian Turner / Flickr

School districts in Washington state are filing fewer petitions to juvenile court for kids who are truant, according to a recent report from the state superintendent’s office.

But almost all of the kids who wind up in the juvenile court system for unexcused absences – 93 percent – come from low-income families.

Joe Wolf / Flickr

Seattle Public Schools is in the midst of figuring out how to relieve overcrowding in Garfield High School’s highly capable program. That’s where kids who test into the district’s gifted program are assigned unless they opt for a different school.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Three counties in the Puget Sound region are going to receive a substantial amount of money to spend on education because of an amendment in a state transportation law.

The King County Council is figuring out its priorities for its share of the money, which will total about $315 million spread out over a number of years.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The vast majority of gifted programs in public schools across Washington state are filled with white and Asian students. It's one reason Federal Way Public Schools has been expanding its “gifted pool” to bring in more students of color and children from low-income families. 

But Seattle Times education reporter Claudia Rowe discovered the district was an outlier among others in the state. She also found out the state mandates for gifted programs are more lax when compared to other districts across the country, specifically in Florida. 

photo courtesy of Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology

A high school senior from Mill Creek has won a prestigious $25,000 dollar scholarship in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Sriharshita Musunuri’s research focuses on sepsis, which is one of the leading causes of death in U.S. hospitals.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It’s been more than five years since the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the state was failing to fully fund basic education and more than a decade since the McCleary lawsuit was originally filed. The McCleary kids have graduated from high school in the meantime.

In Seattle, fundraising by parents has helped to fill the void at some schools. Other, higher-poverty schools don’t have the ability to lean on parents to augment budgets.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

(Updated at 12:50 pm, Dec. 4, 2017, to correct how much money was raised by the Lafayette Elementary and Genesee Hill Elementary PTA auctions.)

Public schools are supposed to be paid for with taxes. But in Seattle, depending on which school your kid attends, you may be asked to kick in substantial amounts of money.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

There aren't typically a lot of high school students in courtrooms. But a judge in Thurston County is bringing the court to them.

A few dozen juniors and seniors at Olympia High School recently gathered in a small theater to watch small claims court.

Mel Peffs / Flickr

About 400 school bus drivers in Seattle will go on a one-day strike on Wednesday to protest what they say are unfair labor practices committed by their employer, First Student, which holds the bus transportation contract for the district. 

Ashley Gross / KNKX

The Black Lives Matter movement has helped spark a national dialogue about issues of race and racism in the country. That conversation is also happening in schools.

At Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, Gabe Rosenbloom, a senior and a diversity coordinator for student government, has invited a speaker with an unusual background as a way to help bridge racial divides.

J.D. Scott / photo courtesy of Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Our country’s racial divides have been in the news a lot this year. Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum has written extensively about the topic, including in her book, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race.

Ali Mohsenian / photo courtesy of "Angst" documentary

Anxiety is the most common psychiatric disorder among children, but most kids aren’t getting treatment, according to a report from the Child Mind Institute. A new film called Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety from the Seattle-based production company IndieFlix explores the problem.

Washington state lawmakers will likely have to come up with an extra $1 billion for schools when they convene in January for the 2018 session.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Wednesday that said the state is not on track to fully fund public schools by a court-imposed deadline of September 1, 2018.

Joe Wolf / Flickr

Even though state lawmakers passed a plan this summer to fully fund basic education, Washington's highest court said Wednesday the state still isn't on track to comply with its constitutional duty.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

 (Updated at 2:30 pm, Nov. 15, 2017, to correct that schools are not required to inform parents before the books and lessons will be used in class.)

The Seattle school district is introducing books and short lessons to teach kids in kindergarten through fifth grade that there are many ways to express gender. District officials said it’s in response to a growing need and in line with updated state health education standards.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Low-income kids, black and Latino students and children in special education are suspended and expelled at above-average rates. State lawmakers have passed legislation in recent years aimed at reducing the disproportionate use of discipline.

Kyle Stokes / KNKX

A new report on the needs of black and African-American students in south Seattle and six south King County school districts says they continue to face inequities and racism. One area of focus is disproportionate use of discipline.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Education and business leaders are visiting two schools in Tacoma this week to find out more about an initiative started five years ago to help improve outcomes for kids.

Seattle Native Americans Rally For Indigenous-Focused High School

Nov 6, 2017
Members of the Urban Native Education Alliance gather in a circle outside the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence while holding tribe flags.
Enrique Perez de la Rosa / KNKX

Updated on 11/07/2017 at 2:27 p.m. See correction below.

Members from Seattle’s Native American community rallied before a school board meeting last week to demand the reestablishment of a school that had an emphasis on American Indian culture.

Jeremy Segrott is licensed under cc by 2.0

Washington State University is facing a $30 million budget deficit. University President Kirk Schulz is calling for 2.5 percent cuts in all departments to get the school back in the black in the next three years. 

The situation has raised a lot of questions about how all this happened. KNKX Morning Edition Producer Ariel Van Cleave turned to Spokesman-Review higher education reporter Chad Sokol for some answers.  

Joe Wolf / Flickr

Washington state’s highest court is now weighing whether to end the long-running McCleary school funding case.

An attorney for the state asked the justices Tuesday to find that the state has now complied by passing an education funding plan, but many groups argue it hasn’t done enough.

The Washington Legislature enacted a new state property tax this year to shift the burden of school funding off local levies. But the question before the state Supreme Court Tuesday was whether Washington lawmakers fully funded schools as required by the court .

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Tuesday is a big day in Olympia for people concerned about school funding issues in Washington. That’s when the state Supreme Court will hold a hearing on whether the legislature has met the court’s requirements to amply fund basic education in the long-running McCleary case.

Mel Peffs / Flickr

The threat of a strike by school bus drivers in Seattle has many parents anxious. About 12,000 students in the district regularly use school bus service. Now, the union that represents the drivers is calling on the Seattle school board to put pressure on their vendor to resolve the labor dispute.

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism / Flickr

Here’s one more sign that Seattle’s economy is booming: A private school here has organized what it says is the city’s first ever boarding school educational fair on Monday night, with local boarding schools as well as ones from across the country taking part.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is expected to draw large crowds when she speaks Friday evening at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue.

She is speaking at the Washington Policy Center's sold-out gala, where the minimum ticket price was $350, though the group says tickets for people in its Young Professionals program were $50 and some college students will attend for free. The organization is expecting 1,500 people for DeVos's first visit to Washington state as education secretary.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

This week, Seattle schools have been putting an extra emphasis on Native culture because of Indigenous Peoples' Day. 

But some parents at the school with the highest concentration of Native kids are frustrated with the school district. They say a shortage of classroom space in the brand-new facility for Licton Springs K-8 threatens their kids’ ability to learn.

Courtesy of UW School of Nursing

Nearly every county in Washington has a shortage of doctors, particularly in the areas of primary care and mental health. But there is a new push to train more practitioners for rural and underserved places.

Did Washington’s prepaid Guaranteed Education Tuition program give VIP service to state lawmakers with accounts?