Washington may avoid child care cliff, but many providers are still struggling

BY: - October 4, 2023

Washington is unlikely to see a huge drop in child care services even as federal pandemic aid supporting providers dries up.  Expiration of the funds led to nationwide concerns that millions of children could lose care. About $24 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act was distributed to states to help keep child care centers […]

At Washington’s public colleges and universities, a lasting slump in enrollment

BY: - September 27, 2023

Enrollment at public colleges and universities in Washington was still lagging last year after a drop at the start of the pandemic, according to a new report. The decline is most dramatic at public community and technical colleges, where enrollment sank 25% from fall 2019 to fall 2022, the report from the Washington Student Achievement […]

State will keep fiscal tabs on three cash-starved Washington school districts

BY: - September 5, 2023

As students return to Washington classrooms, state education officials are closely monitoring how three cash-strapped public school districts are spending money. Marysville, La Conner and Mount Baker districts, all located in western Washington and part of Northwest Educational Service District 189, are in this position because they are beginning the school year without a balanced […]

Updated COVID-19 vaccines expected to be available in September, federal officials say

BY: - August 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is gearing up for a fall vaccination campaign that not only includes updated COVID-19 boosters, but the annual flu shot and the newly approved RSV vaccine. “We’re going to be encouraging Americans to get their COVID-19 vaccine in addition to their annual flu shot, as well as the immunizations for […]

Death counts remain high in some states even as COVID fatalities wane

BY: - August 24, 2023

Several months after President Joe Biden ended the national emergency for COVID-19, preliminary health data indicates the historic degree to which the pandemic increased death rates nationwide — not just because of the virus itself, but also through the pandemic’s reverberating effects on society. Deaths from vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides and overdoses spiked in many […]

WA senator didn’t have a guide to legislating. So she wrote one

BY: - July 17, 2023

Karen Keiser thought she knew what she was doing when she entered the Legislature in 1995.  She’d spent her career reporting on and lobbying lawmakers. Doing the job in the state House of Representatives wouldn’t be hard, she figured. She figured wrong.  Twenty-eight years later, Keiser, a dean of the Senate Democratic Caucus, has written […]

State schools chief launches bid for a third term

BY: - June 12, 2023

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced Monday he will seek a third term overseeing Washington’s public school system in 2024. Reykdal sketched out an aggressive agenda including providing free meals for all students,  fully funding special education services, eliminating fees for Running Start participants and expanding opportunities for those wishing to become bilingual. “There’s […]

At State Parks, revenue is up and staffing levels are down

BY: - May 31, 2023

Washington State Parks took in more money than expected during the past two years as the pandemic drove a boom in outdoor recreation.  State Parks collected almost $123 million between July 2021 and April of this year, $12 million more than anticipated. That’s according to a financial report delivered at a State Parks and Recreation […]

Ready for its close-up, Washington sees moviemaking rebound

BY: - May 23, 2023

With the pandemic ending and state aid in hand, Washington is enjoying a resurgence of interest from makers of movies and television shows. Spokane, Whidbey Island, Seattle and Lynnwood are among communities that provided backdrops for productions that employed nearly 1,700 people and generated $11.5 million in local spending between July 2020 and June 30, […]

Seattle regaining residents after shrinking during the pandemic

BY: - May 18, 2023

The vast majority of American cities are shrinking, but new data shows that a few are regaining residents after population declines early in the pandemic — bolstered, perhaps, by the rapid construction of new homes. Seattle, Houston, Atlanta and Tucson, Arizona, are among the cities that lost population between 2020 and 2021 but now have more people […]

Flu deaths surge after pandemic lull

BY: - May 11, 2023

Washington just had its deadliest flu season in five years, the Department of Health said Thursday.  Following two years of low flu activity – likely due to reduced exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic – the state saw a “tenfold” increase in deaths this year compared to last. For the 2022-2023 season, 262 Washington residents died […]

Inslee to ditch vax mandate for state workers as health emergency ends

BY: - May 10, 2023

When the national public health emergency for the coronavirus ends Thursday, so too will the requirement for state employees to be vaccinated against COVID as a condition of employment. “It was time to do it,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday after touring a new child care center for children of state workers. “The numbers are […]