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League of Education Voters: School funding needs a 'Sputnik moment'

Chris Korsmo, CEO of the League of Education Voters, called today for a "Sputnik moment" to bring Washington policymakers together to create ample, equitable and stable funding solutions for public education in the state.

"After the Soviet Union beat the United States into space with the Sputnik satellite, America responded with a massive and successful effort to be first to the moon. We need a Sputnik moment in Washington. We need to join together to help our kids and our state compete in a global economy," Korsmo said.

Korsmo's comments were made during a panel on improving funding for public education as directed by the Washington Supreme Court in the McCleary decision. The panel was hosted by the Associated Press as part of their annual legislative preview. Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, House Ways and Means Chairman Ross Hunter, and incoming Senate Education Chairman Steve Litzow also spoke.

Korsmo said Washington policymakers rely too much on "Apollo 13 moments," where teachers and school leaders are asked to jury-rig an education for their students with insufficient materials and tools at hand.

"We need to give our educators better tools and materials to work with: full-day kindergarten for all, high-quality early learning, better teacher training, and academic standards that guarantee a high school diploma will mean something," Korsmo said.

Korsmo's full statement can be found at educationvoters.org.

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