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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Ashley Gross / KNKX

The school bus strike in Seattle has now lasted almost a week. It has put put the drivers’ employer, First Student, under close scrutiny. The company was the only one that submitted a bid to provide bus service in the district, leaving Seattle Public Schools with little choice.

But the district is taking steps to expand its options in the future.

Zach Frailey / Flickr

Almost every day, it seems like there’s another headline raising concerns about how screen time affects kids’ brain development and emotions. Even a group of former Facebook and Google employees is trying to call attention to the potential harms of technology for children.

Brie Ripley / KNKX

(Updated at 3:35 pm to add comments from school bus driver Alex Bergstrom and First Student executive Kim Mingo.)

About 400 Seattle school bus drivers went on strike Thursday. The work stoppage stems from a dispute with their employer, First Student, over health and retirement benefits.

Wonderlane / Flickr

Community groups want the University of Washington to build more affordable housing for low-wage employees at the school.

The university has updated its master plan and needs approval from the City of Seattle. The groups argue affordable housing should be a part of that plan.

Center for Youth Wellness

Childhood trauma leaves lasting damage on people’s psyches. There is growing awareness in the medical community that experiencing adversity as a child leaves lasting impacts on a person’s body as well, including higher risks for heart disease and cancer.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

In recent years, there have been changes to state law to limit the use of suspensions in school. You can look up a lot of data on discipline numbers on the state superintendent’s web site, but what’s missing are the human stories behind the statistics.

Why did that one kid come to school stoned? Why does that girl have a backpack stuffed with stolen goods?

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is exploring ways to make it easier for parents who are going to community college to get care for their kids at reduced rates.

Douglas Boyles / Bethel School District

The Feb. 13 special election will be a test of voters' support for local school levies and bond measures in the wake of major changes to the way the state funds public education. Around the Puget Sound region, dozens of school districts are asking people to support local property tax measures.

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.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle school board is kicking off its search for a new superintendent with a community town hall on Thursday evening, but labor groups representing teachers and principals are urging the school board to forgo the search and extend current Superintendent Larry Nyland’s contract instead.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

With the abrupt closures of some schools, including ITT Technical Institute campuses in Everett and Seattle, for-profit colleges have gotten more scrutiny in recent years. State Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, has proposed excluding for-profit institutions from state financial aid programs.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

In Seattle Public Schools, there are gaps in achievement between white students and students of color.

According to a recent Stanford University study, black students tested 3.7 grade levels behind their white peers in 2017. The year before, they tested 3.5 grade levels behind.

Rebecca Sullivan Photography

A new program in Seattle to assign black male mentors to black boys is getting underway. The program was set in motion by former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray with $300,000 from the city.

Will James / KNKX

The future of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, remains in doubt, but some Democratic lawmakers in Washington state want to ensure that undocumented people in college will be able to continue their education even if the program ends.

'Breakfast After The Bell' May Be Coming Soon To Washington State

Jan 10, 2018

Wednesday marked the third day of Washington’s 2018 legislative session and the House of Representatives passed its first bill. It would require high poverty schools to offer breakfast after the start of the school day. It’s a top priority for Democrats.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

State lawmakers head back to Olympia on Monday for the short legislative session. One Democratic state senator says a high priority will be boosting funding for special education.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Washington state is moving closer to adopting a new system for tracking school quality and student progress. The state superintendent’s office has gotten feedback on its plan from the federal Department of Education and will submit its revised version on Thursday. 

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.  

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.

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