WA School Funding: The Post-McCleary challenge

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

Love it or hate it, public education – access to it, and paying for it are defining features of any community.

We as a nation, used to be proud of our educational system. Now, for a variety of reasons, several other countries tend to hold the top spots.

Finland, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and a few other countries vie for the best ratings. The USA rarely makes it into the top ten – or even twenty.

Public education, accessible to all, is, by any standard the best possible (and most rewarding) investment in the future.

For whatever reason, our community support of our schools becomes controversial every now and then.

If you are interested in the fine print of how education is  – or should be – funded, this is the event for you.

City Club of Tacoma is hosting a panel discussion of education funding after the McCleary Act.

The moderator will be Dr. Terry Bergeson who served as Washington state superintendent of public instruction from 1997 to 2009, and as executive director of the Washington Commission on Student Learning from 1993 to 1996. From 2010 to 2013, Terry served as the Executive Director of the San Francisco School Alliance. In 2016, she joined Pacific Lutheran University as interim dean of the School of Education & Kinesiology.


Carla Santorno: Superintendant Tacoma Public Schools

Carla Santorno is the Superintendant of Tacoma Public Schools since 2011. She was Chief Academic Officer for Seattle Public Schools for three years. In 2011, Tacoma Public Schools graduation rate was 61.7%. As of 2019, the graduation rate has risen to 89.3 percent – the highest since the state began officially tracking the statistic 15 years ago. In 2016, Carla was awarded the Women in School Leadership Award from the American Association of School Administrators recognizing Tacoma Public Schools’ incredible success during her time of leadership.

Angel Morton: President of Tacoma Teachers Association

Angel Morton is a kindergarten teacher, Washington Education Association board member, and President of the Tacoma Education Association (TEA).

Rosalind Medina: CFO at Tacoma Public Schools

Rosalind Medina has served as the Chief Financial Officer since 2013. Prior to her appointment, she served as the district’s budget director since 2007. As Chief Financial Officer, she oversees the Business and Finance Division which includes the budget, financial services, grants management, purchasing and transportation departments.

Rep. Laurie Dolan: Member of the Washington State House of Representatives, 22nd District.

Laurie was a Spokane educator for 30 years, starting as first grade teacher, special educator and local association leader; earning her MA and her PhD at Gonzaga and supervising school principals for the last half of her career. Following retirement, Laurie came to Olympia to serve as Gov Gregoire’s Director of Policy from 2005-2009. She was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2016.

Joel Aune: Executive Director of Washington Association of Schools Administrators (WASA)

In 2018, Joel Aune became executive director of WASA, an organization focused on both K–12 education policy issues and the leadership development of Washington’s public school administrators. Prior to WASA, Joel served as superintendent for the Snoqualmie Valley School District for 13 years.

March 20th, 2019


University of Puget Sound

Upper Marshall Room

1500 North Warner Street

Tacoma, WA 98406

For more information or to sign up, click here https://www.cityclubtacoma.org/

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