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Rep. Carlyle assumes vice chair of Higher Education Committee, aims for ‘genuine reform’

Posted by Jesus Chavez on January 26th, 2011

Rep. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle’s 36th district began the new legislative session and his second term in Olympia as vice chair of the Higher Education Committee this month.

“What I hope to do is to really bring about some genuine reform in our education system—in K-12 and higher education,” said Carlyle. “I have four young children, and that’s the heart and soul of who I am and why I ran for office.”

Carlyle has worked on the committee during the last two sessions, but this is his first in a leadership position.

The state’s education system is moving in a troubling direction that warrants immediate and profound action, according to Carlyle. He said this area of state government distresses him the most and characterizes the shift of funding from the state to the students as “a disaster waiting to happen.”

“The state is retreating from its obligation to open the doors of access to higher education, and it’s going to become more and more elite and privatized,” Carlyle said. “But there’s many of us giving it all we have fighting tooth and nail to try to educate the public about the value of changing course and really being much more aggressive about allowing everybody to access higher education, not just a small segment of society.”

Photo from Carlyle’s Facebook page.

Carlyle will also serve as a member of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. This is his first time serving on the committee, which is especially critical given the state’s current economic woes.

“Our economy is going through the most extraordinary structural change in generations,” Carlyle said. “This is a time to break down old clichés and old stereotypes about state government and about taxes and services and to really honor the will of the public to rebuild our state.”

From Washington’s House Democrats website:

In the December special session, $588 million of the $1.6 billion budget deficit for the current budget cycle was addressed. How to address the remaining amount is the Ways and Means Committee’s first problem, before moving onto the projected $4.6 billion shortfall in the two-year budget starting in July.

“It’s time we thoughtfully lay out our state’s priorities and do our best to fund them,” Carlyle said. “I’ll be challenging colleagues to start fresh with our budgeting, and put dollars where we can unleash opportunity and the entrepreneurial spirit in our state.”

Also serving on the Ways and Means Committee are Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, both representing the 36th district.

Carlyle will continue to serve on the Technology, Energy and Communications Committee, and hopes to use his voice to bring technological efficiency to the state infrastructure. The current session will run from Jan 10 to April 24.

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2 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Mr. President // Jan 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Apparently Reuven’s idea of reform does not include being able to fire useless teachers or giving parents any kind of choice such as charter school. Just more money for the teacher’s union. Wow, how novel, that’s NEVER been tried.

  • 2 Ballard Resident // Jan 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    As a university professor with an elementary school age child I have closely scrutinized the educational opportunities and teaching available in both the public and private sectors in Seattle. I have found, unequivocally, that the best teachers are experienced Seattle Public School teachers. They are much better than the relatively inexperienced and unlicensed instructors you find at the private schools charging $15,000-25,000 a year for attendance. You won’t find better than experienced SPS teachers. Carlyle is right on in his efforts to prepare our kids for future challenges.

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