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There comes a time when enough is enough. No more excuses, no more delays.

In 1986, hospitals, local governments, schools, small businesses and doctors were fed up with the high cost of personal injury lawsuits and liability insurance. They successfully lobbied for tort reform legislation, which was signed into law by Gov. Booth Gardner.

Fast forward to 2012 and you see that same tipping point with our public schools.

Taxpayers are tired of hearing, “Just give us more money and we’ll fix our schools.” We’ve been there, done that and nothing has changed. Washington students who cannot afford a private education are locked into traditional public schools, many of which are failing to prepare them to succeed. read more »


Fifteen schools, 50 teams and more than 100 students will participate in the inaugural Remotely Operated Vehicles Challenge Day on June 2 in Bremerton.

The event will be held from 1-3 p.m. at the Olympic High School swimming pool (7070 Stampede Boulevard, Bremerton).

Over the past several weeks, more than 1,000 high school and junior high school students throughout Kitsap County have designed and built remotely operated vehicles — complete with cameras and monitors — with the help of dozens of volunteers. The ROV Challenge Day is the culmination of weeks of preparation, a test of the ROVs’ capabilities in the water and a unique way for students to represent their schools as they compete head-to-head with the best ROVs in Kitsap County. read more »


Mark W. CostaGateway Fellowship Church has hired Mark W. Costa, president and CEO of the North Mason Chamber of Commerce, to be director of communications and development for the expanded Gateway Christian Schools.

Costa will oversee internal and external marketing, communications, community relations and strategic devel-opment for the Gateway Christian School, which the church has operated in Poulsbo since 1974, and Crosspoint Academy in Bremerton, which Gateway recently acquired from Seattle-based Crista Ministries.

Costa, who helped increase membership in the North Mason Chamber during his year-and-a-half tenure there, will focus on increasing enrollment at the Gateway Christian Schools. read more »

Human Resources

Washington has become the first state in the nation to formally recognize a voluntary employee benefit program that encourages workers to continue their education with assistance from their employer.

Senate Bill 6141 legally defines Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs), which are savings accounts funded through matching employer-employee contributions and dedicated to covering the education costs of the participating employee. The law builds on a pilot program that has operated since 2009 with employers in Thurston, Lewis, Pacific and Grays Harbor counties. read more »


Third grader Enrique (not his real name) eagerly describes his Teach for America teacher like this: “He let us borrow bigger books.” “I am learning English now.” “My goal is to be at fourth grade in reading by the end of the year.”

Teach For America (TFA) is a nationally-recognized training program that provides highly motivated, talented teachers to schools nationwide, especially in low-income inner city communities. TFA graduates come from highly respected colleges, including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton and the University of Washington. Studies show their students typically make more progress in reading and math than students of other teachers, including veteran and certified instructors. read more »


Hope AcademyIn March, the South Kitsap School District (SKSD) began a new program in its mission to “care for the whole child” by launching Hope Academy. This new program operates under the umbrella of Explorer Academy and is headed by principal of South Kitsap Alternative Programs, Pat Oster. It is designed to help recover dropout and expelled students from grades 9 through 12.

Students who are expelled, dropped out, or have otherwise slipped through the cracks of the school system now have another chance to receive their education in a more personalized instructional environment. read more »


The state Legislature Monday passed a bill requested by State Superintendent Randy Dorn that would establish procedures for determining if a school district is unable to meet its financial obligations.

In addition to formally defining what constitutes financial insolvency, House Bill 2617 would create a financial oversight committee when a district becomes financially insolvent. The committee would make recommendations to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction about whether the district should dissolve or be placed under enhanced financial monitoring. read more »


The Kitsap Audubon Society is accepting applications for three scholarships that will be awarded to graduating seniors from public high schools in Kitsap County who plan to pursue academic degrees in environmental studies or related sciences.

Kitsap Audubon awards at least two annual scholarships of $500 each. This year a third scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded as a special memorial to Glenn Anderson, who was a teacher and a member of Kitsap Audubon. read more »

New Poll

A statewide poll released today by Washington Policy Center shows a strong majority, 60 percent, of Washingtonians support changing state law to allow charter public schools, and 64 percent say they support allowing low-income and minority children in urban neighborhoods to attend such schools.

Charter public schools are currently banned in Washington. If the ban is lifted, Washington would join 41 states and the District of Columbia in allowing children to attend independent charter public schools. Allowing charters as an education option is supported by the Obama Administration and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. read more »

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