Bill in Legislature would give state schools chief more power

Chris Reykdal, state schools superintendent

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Board of Education could lose some of its authority over the state’s K-12 public education system under a controversial bill that would transfer some of its responsibilities to the state’s new chief of public schools.

The Daily Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2loW5No) Monday that the House Education Committee approved the bill last week on an 11-7 vote.

Under the legislation, the board would no longer be charged with monitoring a school district’s compliance with education laws. The board’s ability to develop high school graduation requirements and hold schools accountable for students’ academic progress would also be impacted.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal says if he’s judged on student achievement and school performance, then he needs to have more authority.

But education board Executive Director Ben Rarick says the legislation represents a “sweeping change” and goes against the board.