Democratic WA Governor; Former Rep/ (WA-1); withdrew from Presidential primary Aug. 2019
Cut college tuition; provide assistance to neediest
One of the things we've done is we've reduced tuition. We haven't cut it in half, but we've reduced it. We have dramatically increased access to financial aid, and we've done it in a really smart way.
We've probably 20 percent or 30 percent increase eventually we will have as to the number of students who are getting financial aid.
We have targeted the financial aid to those who were really most in the need, which are the lower, you know, quintile or quartile of our students.
And we've given them not just free tuition, but we've given them the full meal deal You have to be able to eat when you're going to school and you have to be able to buy books and take care of your transportation needs.
My budget will provide 100,000 students over the next 10 years an option to dive into their interests through apprenticeships and paid internships. We're also supporting future students who want more education but can't afford it. The Washington
College Promise is our new statewide free college program that guarantees state financial aid to eligible students. We did this because a student's financial challenges should not stand in the way of the pursuit of their dreams.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Washington legislature
, Jan 15, 2019
Four-year degree isn't the only path to success
We have to stop telling our children that a four-year degree is the only path to success. That simply is not true. Let's leave a legacy of opportunity for all our students by expanding career-connected learning. During a study mission to Switzerland
last year, our delegation saw a truly remarkable apprenticeship system stemming from a robust partnership with business, labor, and academia. There is no reason our own students cannot have better access to those same opportunities here in Washington.
Source: 2018 Washington State of the State address
, Jan 9, 2018
Create non-religious charter schools as open alternatives
Excerpts from legislation: Bill on CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
"Applicant" [for charters] means a nonprofit corporation that must be either a public benefit nonprofit corporation, or a nonprofit corporation that has applied for tax
exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code
The nonprofit corporation may not be a sectarian or religious organization.
[Charter must address] "at-risk students", which means a student who has an academic or economic
disadvantage that requires assistance or special services to succeed in educational programs.
A charter school is a public (common) school that is open to all children free of charge and by choice; and operated separately from the common school
system as an alternative to traditional common schools.Legislative outcome: Bill passed House, March 9, 58-39-1; passed Senate, March 10, 26-23-0; signed by Governor April 1.
Senate Bill 6354 would require state universities and colleges to develop plans that would give students who transferred early from
a two-year technical or community college to a four-year college the ability to "reverse transfer" credits toward associate degrees.
Source: Seattle Times on Oregon voting record for Senate Bill 6354
, Mar 11, 2016
$1.2B for automatic COLA adjustments for teachers
[In the recent court ruling] the court wrote that it wants to see "immediate, concrete action, not simply promises." I agree. Promises don't educate our children, and promises don't satisfy our constitutional and moral obligations. We need to put
several billion dollars more into funding our K-through-12 education system. I propose a plan to make an investment of about $200 million in our schools this session. Most of that will go directly to your local school districts. It will also fund a
long-overdue cost-of-living adjustment for our educators this session. Washington voters spoke loudly in 2000, saying that educators should get this COLA every year. Yet repeatedly that mandate has been shunted aside. We're going to live up to that
promise this year. Last year I proposed a $1.2 billion down payment on our obligation to schools, funded mostly by closing tax breaks. The court now says what we did wasn't enough and the need for immediate action could not be more apparent.
We've provided funding for every child to have all-day kindergarten. Every single child deserves a great education in our public schools. We've reduced class sizes in our kindergarten-through-third grade classrooms. And because we know a high-quality
teacher is the single most important asset in every classroom, we provided funding for more teacher mentoring opportunities, especially for new teachers. And we were able to provide them with a cost-of-living adjustment -- the first since 2008.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Washington legislature
Increase teacher salary to help recruit and retain
To recruit and retain teachers, my plan would raise their beginning salary, from just under $36,000 to $40,000 per year. Then, to help make all teacher salaries more competitive, my plan also provides a minimum
1 percent raise to all other teachers. I propose we pay for it through elimination of some tax breaks whose benefits simply do not outweigh our obligations to our students, to our teachers and to our schools.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Washington legislature
Voted NO on reauthorizing the DC opportunity scholarship program.
Congressional Summary:The SOAR Act award five-year grants on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations to carry out an expanded school choice opportunities to students who are District of Columbia residents and who come from households:
receiving assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program; or
with incomes not exceeding 185% of the poverty line.
Provides funds to the Mayor of DC, if the Mayor agrees to specified requirements, for:
the DC public schools to improve public education, and
the DC public charter schools to improve and expand quality public charter schools.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: [Rep. Bishop, R-UT]: In 1996, Congress insisted upon a charter school program in DC. You will hear from both sides of the aisle recognition of the great value that that program has, and justifiably so. There is a waiting list in DC for those charter schools.
This bill increases the percentage of funding going to charter schools in the District. In 2003, an Opportunity Scholarship was instituted, at the insistence of Congress. Again, there was a waiting list of people wanting the opportunity; disadvantaged kids who wanted the opportunity that this scholarship afforded them. There were 216 kids at the time scheduled to enter the program who were not allowed; the bill remedies that.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: [Rep. Hastings, D-FL]: In the last 41 years voters have rejected private school vouchers every time they have been proposed. In 1981, 89% of the people in a referendum in DC voted against vouchers. So how dare we come here to tell these people that we are going to thrust upon them something they don't want without a single public official in this community being consulted. Congress' oversight of the District is not an excuse for political pandering to the Republicans' special interest of the day du jour.
Reference: Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR);
; vote number 11-HV200
on Mar 30, 2011
Voted YES on $40B for green public schools.
Congressional Summary:Make grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, including early learning facilities and charter schools, to make them safe, healthy, high-performing, and technologically up-to-date.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. BETSY MARKEY (D, CO-4): This legislation will improve the learning environment for our children, reduce energy costs and create new jobs across the country. Green schools not only save school districts money but also teach the importance of sustainable living to children at a young age.
Opponent's argument to vote No:
Rep. GLENN THOMPSON (R, PA-5): We all know our Nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. The bill we're debating today would add an estimated $40 billion in new spending. And despite the majority's hollow promises of fiscal responsibility, there's nothing in the legislation to offset this hefty price tag with spending reductions elsewhere. This is just more of the same borrow and spend, spend and borrow policy that we've seen under this majority and this administration.
Reference: 21st Century Green Schools Act;
; vote number 2009-H259
on May 14, 2009
Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.
Veto override on the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, and Labor. Original bill passed & was then vetoed by the President.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. OBEY: This bill, more than any other, determines how willing we are to make the investment necessary to assure the future strength of this country and its working families. The President has chosen to cut the investments in this bill by more than $7.5 billion in real terms. This bill rejects most of those cuts.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. LEWIS: This bill reflects a fundamental difference in opinion on the level of funding necessary to support the Federal Government's role in education, health and workforce programs. The bill is $10.2 billion over the President's budget request. While many of these programs are popular on both sides of the aisle,
this bill contains what can rightly be considered lower priority & duplicative programs. For example, this legislation continues three different programs that deal with violence prevention. An omnibus bill is absolutely the wrong and fiscally reckless approach to completing this year's work. It would negate any semblance of fiscal discipline demonstrated by this body in recent years.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill spends too much. It exceeds [by $10.2 billion] the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. This bill continues to fund 56 programs that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results. This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes. This bill has too many earmarks--more than 2,200 earmarks totaling nearly $1 billion. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Voted YES on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.
This vote is on a substitute bill (which means an amendment which replaces the entire text of the original bill). Voting YES means support for the key differences from the original bill: lowering student loan interest rates; $59 million for a new Predominantly Black Serving Institution program; $25 million for a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program; provide for year- round Pell grants; and repeal the Single Lender rule. The substitute's proponents say:
The original bill has some critical shortcomings. First and foremost, this substitute will cut the new Pell Grant fixed interest rate in half from 6.8% to 3.4%, to reduce college costs to those students most in need.
It would also establish a new predominantly black-serving institutions programs to boost college participation rates for low-income black students, and a new graduate Hispanic-serving institution program.
As we saw from 1995 to 2000, the questions employers were asking was not your race, not your ethnicity, not your
religion, they wanted to know if you had the skills and talents to do the job. Most often today, those skills and that talent requires a higher education. A college education is going to have to become as common as a high school education.
The substitute's opponents say:
I feel it is not totally the Federal Government's responsibility to provide for all of higher education. The substitute has three critical flaws.
1.The name itself, "Reverse the Raid on Student Aid." Don't believe the hype. Not one student in America will receive less financial aid under our bill. Not one.
2. This amendment does not retain the $6,000 maximum Pell Grant award that our legislation has. In fact, they stay with the same old $5,800 maximum award.
3. It says that we are going to have a 3.4% interest rate for 1 year that is going to cost $2.7 billion, but it has no offsets whatsoever. How do they pay for it? They don't tell us.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $22.8 billion in education funding, a 29 percent increase from fiscal 2001. The bill would require states to test students to track progress.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Boehner R-OH;
Bill HR 1
; vote number 2001-145
on May 23, 2001
Offer every parent Charter Schools and public school choice.
Inslee adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Create World-Class Public Schools Now more than ever, quality public education is the key to equal opportunity and upward mobility in America. Yet our neediest children often attend the worst schools. While lifting the performance of all schools, we must place special emphasis on strengthening those institutions serving, and too often failing, low-income students.
To close this achievement and opportunity gap, underperforming public schools need more resources, and above all, real accountability for results. Accountability means ending social promotion, measuring student performance with standards-based assessments, and testing teachers for subject-matter competency.
As we demand accountability, we should ensure that every school has the resources needed to achieve higher standards, including safe and modern physical facilities, well-paid teachers and staff, and opportunities for remedial help after school and during summers.
Parents, too, must accept greater responsibility for supporting their children’s education.
We need greater choice, competition, and accountability within the public school system, not a diversion of public funds to private schools that are unaccountable to taxpayers. With research increasingly showing the critical nature of learning in the early years, we should move toward universal access to pre-kindergarten education.
Goals for 2010
Turn around every failing public school.
Make charter schools an option in every state and community.
Offer every parent a choice of public schools to which to send his or her child.
Make sure every classroom has well-qualified teachers who know the subjects they teach, and pay teachers more for performance.
Create a safe, clean, healthy, disciplined learning environment for every student.
Make pre-kindergarten education universally available.
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC2 on Aug 1, 2000
Reduce class size to 18 children in grades 1 to 3.
Inslee co-sponsored an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:
Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a grants program to:
recruit, train, and hire 100,000 additional teachers over a seven-year period ;
reduce class sizes nationally, in grades one through three, to an average of 18 students per classroom; and
improve teaching in the early grades so that all students can learn to read independently and well by the end of the third grade.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR1036 on Mar 14, 2001
Rated 100% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes.
Inslee scores 100% by the NEA on public education issues
The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:
To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.