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Articles written by Liv Finne


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  • Expand school choice options

    Liv Finne|Updated Dec 14, 2023

    School choice programs give families between $4,000 and $8,000 per student to cover the cost of private education. These programs provide families public assistance to select a private school if their zip-code assigned public school is not a good fit for their child. In the last two years, school choice has exploded across the United States. In 2019, private school choice programs in the U.S. served only 500,000 students, less than 1% of the nation’s school children. Today, 2...

  • Pupils moving to private schools

    Liv Finne|Updated Aug 3, 2023

    New data reported by the State Board of Education reveals that private school enrollment in Washington state has jumped by 25 percent in three years. In 2019-20, total K-12 private school enrollment was 65,270 students. In 2022-23, this number rose to 81,434 students, an increase of 25 percent. The number of homeschooled students has also grown, from 20,844 in 2019-20 to 29,798 in 2022-23, an increase of 42 percent. Over 110,000 parents in Washington state have decided that...

  • School choice support grows

    Liv Finne|Updated Jul 27, 2023

    School choice is on the rise across the nation. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, just announced his support for Lifeline scholarships, a state voucher program that will allow students to use public funds to attend a private school of their choice. If enacted, his bill will help families assigned by local officials to the lowest-performing public schools because these families will be able to choose a better alternative for their children. Shapiro’s bold i...

  • Segregation by skin color is illegal

    Liv Finne|Updated Apr 20, 2023

    Last week, a parents group filed a complaint against Pathfinder K-8 Public School in Seattle for racial discrimination. The civil rights group filed a complaint on April 11 with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education against principal Britney Holmes and the Seattle School District for discriminating against white students at the elementary school. The complaint presents evidence that Principal Holmes issued invitations to black and “multi-racial” chi...

  • Inslee's pandemic school closures caused harm

    Liv Finne, Washington Policy Center|Updated Aug 25, 2022

    Gov. Jay Inslee responded to the national COVID-19 health crisis by closing the public schools in Washington state to in-person instruction from March 2020 to September 2021 and allowing them to reopen sporadically the fall of 2021. The governor also mandated the use of masks and other face coverings and implemented social distancing rules in daycares and schools from March 2020 to March 2022. We are now learning that two years of these strict policies have imposed long-term...

  • Despite what they say, public schools have plenty of funding

    Liv Finne, Washington Policy Center|Updated Feb 3, 2022

    As we conclude National School Choice Week 2022, people around Washington state are about to hear a familiar refrain: Public schools need more money. Official reports, however, show that isn’t true. In a world of online misinformation and fact-checking, it’s more important than ever for the public to get an accurate picture. Official figures show public schools in Washington state now receive record levels of funding, even as the system has fewer students. Citations to the...

  • Race inequity taught in public schools

    Liv Finne, Washington Policy Center|Updated Dec 29, 2021

    Widespread and irresponsible claims you may have heard that Critical Race Theory (CRT) and race discrimination are not taught in public schools are false. Last month voters elected many new members to local school boards based, at least in part, on those candidates’ announced opposition to teaching CRT in local schools. On what basis then do CRT-deniers say the race-based ideology is not being taught in schools? They argue CRT is an academic theory only taught in college a...

  • End union power, improve education

    Liv Finne, Washington Policy Center|Updated Dec 22, 2021

    Earlier this year, state legislative leaders said they wanted to reduce institutional racism in the public schools by enacting Senate Bill 5044 and similar bills to require that school and university employees attend mandatory Critical Race Theory sessions. This flawed political ideology teaches that white people in all situations are oppressors and other groups are automatically oppressed. These leading lawmakers, who ironically control the very power structure they condemn,...

  • Union's back-door effort to kill popular charter school bill is telling

    Liv Finne, Washington Policy Center|Updated Apr 8, 2021

    Lawmakers are rightly showing great concern about improving the quality, graduation rates, equal treatment and fairness in public schools. Some even say the traditional public school system is systemically racist and are demanding solutions. It is certainly true that public schools produce starkly unequal outcomes, with the achievement gap between ethnic groups in math, science and reading wider than ever. Washington has at least 117 state-identified failing public schools,...

  • An overview of public school funding

    Liv Finne|Updated Nov 5, 2020

    Operating expenditures for Washington’s K-12 public schools have increased almost 92 percent in real terms since 1982, even though student population has increased by only 36 percent. In 2005, Washington taxpayers spent about $9,500 per public school student. In contrast, private schools typically spend around $6,000 per student. Even taking the differences in their missions into account, public schools still spend over 50 percent more per student than private schools, and g...

  • Budget plan targets Washington public charter schools

    Liv Finne|Updated Feb 27, 2020

    We are half-way through the state’s two-year 2019-21 budget cycle, and the latest revenue forecast shows Washington’s elected leaders have an additional $1.5 billion to spend in the current budget cycle. As expected, majority Democrats in the House and Senate yesterday announced supplemental budget proposals to spend this additional tax money. I have been reading through the two proposals and to my surprise they both include targeted cuts to charter public schools. Other pub...

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