Rep. Ross Hunter of the 48th Legislative District was on hand at Wednesday’s Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce luncheon to discuss the state budget, education and transportation.
He spent most of his time in front of the crowd discussing education.
With school in session for the last three weeks for grades K-12, people wanted to know his take on what’s best for students to succeed. Present at the meeting were members of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation and Cascadia Community College President Eric Murray, whose Bothell students will start classes on Monday.
Murray was particularly interested in Hunter’s views on the recent McCleary Decision, in which the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of school districts in a lawsuit against the state over inadequate funding for education.
Hunter noted that 43.8 percent of the state’s 2011-2013 operating budget is spent on public schools with 8.7 percent going to higher education.
He feels there’s still a long way to go in helping students through the school system.
“We need to improve the pipeline for students heading into college so they are prepared,” he said, adding that more college-prep classes should be offered in high school.
Hunter noted that proper funding in this area should help students graduate from college quicker and be at the top of their game when they’re ready to join the work force.
With younger students, Hunter said the state needs to focus on early learning for at-risk kids and intense transitions like third-grade reading and sixth-grade math.