Enrollment drop could cost WA schools $500M in state funding

New state data shows school systems in Washington still have not recovered their enrollment losses from pandemic. The Seattle Times reports that between October 2019 and October 2020, 39,000 fewer students enrolled in public school, about a 3.5% drop. The numbers weren’t distributed evenly across grades — the most pronounced losses were among younger students; the number of kindergarten students plummeted by 14%.  By this fall, the state’s enrollment had only grown by a thousand students. The drop in enrollment is bad news for public schools financially. Collectively, school districts will lose about $500 million in state funding in the next budget. That's according to state Superintendent Chris Reykdal. 

Reading for the Future: Holiday Contest

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Reading for the Future highlights a unique opportunity in partnership with the Children's Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia (CRFMC), for elementary school students this holiday to be…

Kennewick Schools host vaccine clinics for schoolchildren

KENNEWICK, Wash. — In an effort to immunize students and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools, the Kennewick School District is partnering with health care providers to offer vaccination clinics for students, staff members and the general community. Clinics…

‘It’s kind of heartbreaking’: Teachers, tutors see pandemic’s affect on students’ learning

Copyright 4 News NowSPOKANE, Wash. — Local students have been back in the classroom for two months.  Though they have to wear masks and social distance, it is looking a little closer to normal.  That, however, doesn’t mean they’re caught up. The pandemic has affected kids mentally and also in their learning.  READ: More children struggling with mental health as…

Record number of students enroll at Oregon State University

Oregon State University says it has a record number of students enrolled this fall, meaning i t continues to be the state’s largest university, with 34,108 students enrolled. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that's a more than 2% increase from last year. The record enrollment includes students at OSU’s main campus in Corvallis, as well as other locations throughout Oregon, and its online program. OSU’s interim president Becky Johnson said in a statement that Oregon State University is fully energized and enjoying significant momentum with students back on campuses in Corvallis and Bend, and engaged in learning in their online degree programs.

Washington: 89% of public school employees get COVID vaccine

The Washington state education department says nearly nine out of 10 public school employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Washington state.   The vaccination rate announced by officials Thursday, 89%, is slightly lower than that of other state employees, whose total vaccinated numbers stood at about 93% of workers this week.   The Seattle Times reports less than 1% of the state’s 150,000-plus school district employees failed to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s government worker mandate, which requires those who aren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus to have an approved religious or medical exemption. Ten percent of workers have such an exemption, while in other state agencies, only 3% were offered accommodations for religious or medical reasons. 

Portland, Oregon, school board shut down amid vaccine debate

The Portland, Oregon, school board ended an in-person meeting amid controversy over a proposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children 12 and older after unmasked protesters showed up and refused to don a face covering. The board that oversees Oregon's largest school district resumed its meeting with online streaming Tuesday after protesters refused to comply with requests from security guards to put on masks. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that some of the protesters were not from Portland but traveled from elsewhere in Oregon and Washington state. The board is set to vote on the mandate on Nov. 2.