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Washington's I-BEST Program Catches On

Public News Service - WA | December 27, 2013 | Chris Thomas, Producer

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Not all teens or young adults who show up at college are ready to be there, but a program at Washington's community colleges has been so successful at transitioning them that it's gained national attention.

I-BEST turns seven in January. It stands for Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training. [read or listen to the full story]

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education


Washington News Service | Chris Thomas, Producer | Dec. 9, 2013

SEATTLE - Today is a National Day of Action for teachers' unions and community groups, called "Reclaim the Promise of Public Education." The premise is that students from different ethnic and income backgrounds will not have equal opportunities to learn as long as public school funding, staff and subjects continue to be cut. [Full audio and written version here.]

AFT Washington President Karen Strickland on the importance of a public education system that supports those who work at schools and colleges with adequate resources and professional development as well as providing the community and students with the ability to achieve their dreams.

She believes that the two major routes to creating social and economic justice are public education and the labor movement. Watch Karen's video at


Green River Community College Faculty Want Increase in Salaries


Seattle Times Education Blog | by Katherine Long, reporter | Nov. 22 with update on Nov. 23

More than 150 Green River Community College faculty members presented a petition to the college’s board of trustees Thursday asking that an increase in state funding be put toward a boost in faculty salaries, particularly for adjunct faculty. [read full story]

Mayor, legislators urge UW to settle labor dispute with language teachers

The Seattle Times Education Blog | Posted by Katherine Long, Reporter

Five Democratic state legislators and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn are calling on the University of Washington to settle a long-running contract dispute with the university’s International English Language faculty.[read full blog article]

Campus Equity Week: Full-Time Respect for Part-Time Professors


Public News Service - WA | Chris Thomas, Producer

October 28, 2013

SEATTLE - This is Campus Equity Week, in recognition of adjunct or part-time faculty members who are teaching most college classes today in Washington. They have all the responsibilities, but few of the perks, that come with being a professor. Some have no health insurance and work at more than one school to piece together a steady income. - See more at:

Looting the Pension Funds

Sept. 26, 2013 | Rolling Stone Magazine | Matt Taibbi

In the final months of 2011, almost two years before the city of Detroit would shock America by declaring bankruptcy in the face of what it claimed were insurmountable pension costs, the state of Rhode Island took bold action to avert what it called its own looming pension crisis.


AFT has examined a recent proposal called "Pay It Forward" in which students attend college without paying tuition up front but instead will pay 3% of the salary they earn in the future once they graduate to cover the costs for others to attend college. It's not as simple as it seems.

Fact and Fancy in Oregon

The State of Oregon made a big splash in the higher ed world last week. Like a game of Telephone, though, the substance of what actually occurred was reported as more and more fantastic until this post that went viral on social media proclaimed that the


New Report On States That Enact Deep Cuts to Higher Education and Raise Tuition Harm Economy and Quality

March 20, 2013

The Huffington Post | Tyler Kingkade

Photo credit: AP/Rich Pedroncelli

States chose to enact deep cuts to public higher education funding instead of raising taxes, potentially harming both state economies and education quality, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds.

The CBPP, a left-leaning economic think tank that focuses on state and federal budgets, found that states are spending, on average, 28 percent less per student in fiscal year 2013 than they were in 2008. [read full article]

Investing in faculty and staff with increments, closing the salary gap between part-time and full-time faculty, and aligning salary increases with faculty increases are some of the recommendations that were submitted as part of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) 2013-2015 operating budget. Participating in the discussions were Bernal Baca, our lobbyist; Amy Kinsel, President of Shoreline CC faculty union; Wendy Rader-Konofalski and Carla Naccarato Sinclair of WEA, as well as representatives from the trustees association, college presidents association, and the student association.