Seat Belts in School Buses

I reacted the same way many of you did when I heard from my son about the Bellevue High School football team bus rolling over – I was horrified. We followed the news all afternoon via phone from the Tacoma dome where he was waiting to photograph the game. (Check out his pictures at I don’t do many commercial plugs in my newsletters or blogs, but hey, it’s my kid!) The players all had their pads on and thankfully nobody was seriously hurt except for superfan Gary, who’s still recovering. Two coaches were thrown from the bus.

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Basic Education Funding Task Force

I’m a member of the Basic Education Financing Task Force (BEFTF,) a group appointed by the legislature and the governor to try to re-write how K-12 education is funded in Washington. This is the reason I originally ran for the legislature in 2002, and has been a very long term project for me. The current system is dysfunctional – it’s so complex that very few legislators actually understand it, increases in teacher salaries from Olympia cause huge financial problems for local districts, and the many small buckets of money require districts to spend a lot of time doing the accounting work to track where it goes. We are also dependent on local communities paying for large parts of what anyone would call a “basic education” instead of the state, who has the constitutional responsibility for this.

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