SEATTLE, Wash. - The League of Education Voters in Washington says the state isn't making progress in working towards excellent schools.
The league's 2013 report card says Washington state schools earned a C or lower in every category analyzed. The report highlights some individual schools and districts that are improving, but overall, progress has either stood still or back tracked. The bad grades come as lawmakers are working to close the $1.3 billion budget shortfall and still fulfill an order from the state Supreme Court to fully fund basic education.
The analysis found that out of five categories, only one maintained its progress from previous reports - Early Learning. The other four categories - STEM, Meaningful High School Diploma, Success After Graduation, and Funding & Accountability, all got lower grades than in previous years.
For education funding, Washington received a D+. When it comes to public effort and per pupil spending, Washington ranked well below other states and the national average.
The 2013 Citizens' Report Card learned the following statistics:
· 54% of low-income children, (24,412) who are eligible for existing preschool programs are not being served.
· 51% of all recent high school graduates had to enroll in remedial math courses at community and technical colleges in 2009-10.
· Washington is ranked 37th in the nation for on-time graduation rates.
· Large gaps in graduation rates between white and Asian students and African American, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander students still exist.
· While post-secondary education is becoming more important in our society, higher education costs are rising. Washington residents took out 50% more student loans last year than they did the year before.
· Washington ranked 49th in public effort for school funding relative to individual income, spending only $35.07 per $1,000 of personal income on education. The national average is $43.43.
To read the entire report card online, click here.
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