Education Milestone Timeline

Education is the cornerstone of success for our economy. Learn more about what the Governor has done to improve Washington's education system.

Year Initiative Short Summary Resources
2005 Branch campuses become 4-year universities by admitting freshmen and sophomores Gov. Gregoire endorses a recommendation that the Vancouver campus of WSU and the Bothell and Tacoma campuses of the UW become 4-year universities by admitting underclassmen. The expansion responds to regional workforce needs and contributes to the state’s economic vitality by preparing highly educated, well-trained workers. News release
2005 Improvement needed in Washington's high schools Gov. Gregoire agrees with Bill Gates’ concerns about the nation’s high schools and is committed to focusing on high school reform as part of her proposed education funding study. High schools today nationwide graduate 35% of students college-ready. That rate does not match society’s needs, as three-quarters of the top 50 fastest-growing jobs require education beyond high school. News release
2005 Budget proposal improves public schools, increases enrollments in universities, expands state health-care services to 47,000 more children Gregoire’s $25.8 billion General Fund proposal relies on $1.4 billion in cuts, savings and fund shifts while raising an additional $203 million through limited tax increases to fully fund Initiative 728 class size reductions, as well as fully meet projected demand for new K-12 and postsecondary enrollments. News release
2005 Governor signs bills to improve education system Gov. Gregoire signed into law 10 bills to improve the education system from early learning through higher education. Combined with major new funding in the operating budget, the net result is a better future for students and their families. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire signs 2-year, $26 billion budget to make education better Gov. Gregoire signs into law the state’s operating budget that invests in education and avoids general tax increases. The budget permanently funds Initiative 728, which reduces class sizes in public schools. It also increases enrollment at state colleges and universities by 7,900 students.
News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire, schools superintendent join president of Mexico in launching online learning program Gov. Gregoire and Terry Bergeson, state superintendent of public instruction, joined Mexico’s President Vicente Fox in launching a website to allow 55,000 Latino students in Washington to take classes online in Spanish. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire kicks off quest to improve Washington education Gov. Gregoire convenes an Education Summit, the start of an 18-month effort to examine and improve Washington’s P-20 education system. Joined by a steering committee of 12 Washington citizens, Gregoire said Washington Learns will not be just another study but an unblinking and complete look at our education system, followed by an action plan. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire, Microsoft award $2.5 million grant to Eastern Washington University and Cheney School District Gov. Gregoire and Microsoft award a $2.5 million grant to EWU and the Cheney School District to help teachers learn how to best tailor their classroom instruction to meet students’ individual needs in reading, writing and math. News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire launches major education reform effort Gov. Gregoire chairs the first steering committee meeting for Washington Learns. Appointments were announced for advisory committees for early learning, K-12 and higher education. The committees will analyze priority issues in each education sector and recommend options to the steering committee.
News release
2005 Gov. Gregoire: Washington's youngest citizens deserve a better start at learning Gov. Gregoire announces a major education initiative to give children a better chance to learn well before kindergarten. The proposal will consolidate more than a half-dozen child care and early learning programs now scattered among state agencies.
Her proposal to the Legislature will also create an early learning public-private partnership.
News release
2005 Help all students meet graduation standards Gov. Gregoire announces plan to help struggling students pass the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, or WASL, including investments administered through local school districts that are better able to assess their students' needs. News release
2006 Public-private partnership for improving early learning Governor and community leaders announce creation of the Washington Early Learning Fund to pool public and private resources to ensure targeted, outcome-oriented strategies for early learning in Washington. News release
2006 Governor proposes the Department of Early Learning Gov. Gregoire urges the Legislature to better serve our youngest learners by creating a focused, effective, efficient Department of Early Learning. She also proposes to create the public/private partnership Thrive by Five. News release
2006 Collective bargaining rights for family child care providers Gov. Gregoire signs legislation giving collective bargaining rights to family child care providers, emphasizing the importance of early learning. News release
2006 "Running Start for the Trades" Governor signs bill she requested expanding post-graduation apprenticeship opportunities for high school students. News release
2006 Expansion of WSU Tri-Cities Gov. Gregoire signs a bill to expand WSU Tri-Cities into a 4-year institution to fill economic development needs in southeast Washington. News release
2006 Department of Early Learning proposal becomes law Governor signs legislation she requested to streamline the state's scattered early learning programs into one agency, the Cabinet-level Department of Early Learning, to create a "better world for our young children." News release
2006 Washington Aerospace Scholars Gregoire announces the launch of Washington Aerospace Scholars, a program to create exciting opportunities for students interested in math, engineering, physics and chemistry. News release
2006 Loans and grants for child care Governor announces $230,000 in new low-interest loans and grants that will create 124 new child care slots and 17 full-time and 13 part-time jobs. News release
2006 National Governors Association appointment Gov. Gregoire is appointed to chair the National Governors Association's Education, Early Education and Workforce Committee. News release
2006 Education Opportunity Grants Gov. Gregoire announces 10 colleges are selected to pilot the Opportunity Grant program supporting low-income students pursuing high-demand degrees in schools. State provided $4 million. News release
2006 Washington Learns study results Gov. Gregoire endorses results of the Washington Learns Committee study, a comprehensive, year-long examination of Washington's education system. News release
2006 WASL math passage Gov. Gregoire and Superintendent of Public Instruction propose to the Legislature a 3-year plan to allow students who did not pass the math WASL to graduate as long they continue passing rigorous math courses. News release
2006 Education investments Gov. Gregoire announces strategic investments in education to reduce class sizes, recruit additional math and science teachers and increase accountability. News release
2006 Access to higher education and skills Governor unveils plan to keep higher education affordable by freezing tuition for 2 years at community colleges, limiting tuition increases overall, supporting rural education networks and increasing high-demand enrollments. News release
2006 Rural access to medical professionals Gov. Gregoire announces investment to expand access to qualified doctors, nurses and dentists in rural areas by expanding the WSU Spokane campus and rural education programs such as WWAMI and RIDE. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire signs bill to improve math and science education Law concerns provisions for students to meet the state math and science standards for high school graduation. This includes taking additional math classes if students do not pass the state assessment. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire signs legislation to improve school safety Several laws improve safety and ensure safe and responsible Internet use in schools. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire signs legislation to develop a world-class, learner-focused, seamless education system for Washington Several laws develop a world-class, learner-focused, seamless education system that supports students from early learning through kindergarten to 12th grade and through higher education and skills training. Recommendations are from Washington Learns. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire signs legislation that will save college students money on textbooks Law makes college textbooks and materials more affordable. It requires faculty, staff, textbook publishers and campus book stores to disclose how new textbook editions differ from previous editions, promote textbook buy-back programs and offer unbundled course materials whenever possible. News release
2007 P-20 Council to hold state government accountable for education goals Gov. Gregoire signs an executive order to create a council to hold state government accountable and measure progress on 10 long-term goals for a world-class education system established by the Washington Learns committee. News release
Executive order
Executive order
2007 Opportunity Grants for low-income adults to pursue college education Gov. Gregoire announces that the Opportunity Grants program, which helps low-income adults attend college, has expanded to all 34 community and technical colleges in Washington. News release
2007 Running Start for the Trades grants for 14 school districts Gov. Gregoire announces 14 school districts have been awarded a total of $350,000 to expand and encourage pre-apprenticeship programs in high-schools. News release
2007 College campus safety Gov. Gregoire proposes investing $14.3 million to improve the safety of students, faculty and staff on the state’s college and university campuses. News release
2007 Gov. Gregoire signs legislation to cap college tuition Law limits undergraduate tuition increases to no more than 7% per year, sets the goal of raising per-student funding to at least the 60th percentile of comparable institutions in the Global Challenge States within 10 years and directs schools to clarify costs on billing statements. News release
2007 Appointments to school funding task force Gov. Gregoire announces appointments to the 14-member Task Force on Basic Education Finance, which will build on recommendations from Washington Learns to develop a stable funding system for public education. News release
2008 National Board certified teachers A record number of Washington teachers will undergo the tough national board certification process this year, and their growing numbers are good for the education of children in this state, according to Gov. Gregoire. News release
2009 Gov. Gregoire proposes funding sources for K-12, higher education Gov. Gregoire urges legislators to consider 2 proposals to fund the state's K-12 and higher education systems. One would temporarily lift the levy lid, freeing up $68 million a year for school districts. The other would allow 2-year and 4-year institutions to raise tuition. News release
2009 Federal Recovery Act funding for schools Gov. Gregoire is pleased that nearly $1.5 million in federal Recovery Act funding will go to school districts across the state to repair and modernize schools as well as alleviate classroom overcrowding. News release
2009 Gov. Gregoire announces Recovery Act funding for education, stabilization $672 million is awarded to the state under the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for education improvements. Funding helps teachers keep their jobs and students acquire skills to succeed in school and the workplace. Funding is made available because Washington successfully completed the state stabilization application. News release
2009 MOU promotes educational assistance program for veterans Gov. Gregoire, military officials, veterans and higher education agencies sign a memorandum of understanding to affirm joint commitment to helping veterans and their families succeed in higher education. State expects to see more veterans enroll in school with recent improvements to GI Bill. News release
2010 Education proposals launched Governor's education reforms include extending the evaluation period for new teachers, developing criteria and standards for teacher evaluation, setting school performance requirements, expanding teacher certification options, encouraging the use of local funds to pay teachers for closing the achievement gap. News release
2010 Gov. Gregoire signs major education reform legislation into law Laws include giving all children access to a high-quality education, raising instruction standards and providing a focused approach to ensuring high student achievement. News release
2010 Confucius Institute Gov. Gregoire signs a memorandum of understanding to create the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington. This is a great step in advancing our relations and educational opportunities with China. News release
2010 Education data system federal grant Washington is awarded $17.3 million for the design and implementation of an integrated, statewide data system for early childhood education to adult employment. News release
2010 Gov. Gregoire submits Washington's Race to the Top application Washington state officially submits its Race to the Top application to the U.S. Department of Education. Grants will be awarded to states that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing comprehensive education reform. News release
2010 Joint statement on Race to the Top semi-finalists Gov. Gregoire expresses disappointment that the Department of Education did not select Washington to move forward in its competition for federal education funding. News release
2010 Higher Education Funding Task Force Gov. Gregoire announces the formation of a Higher Education Funding Task Force to create a sustainable funding model and develop strategies that increase accountability to ensure taxpayers get the best value for the state’s and students' investment at 4-year universities. News release
2010 Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Education Jobs funding application "Based on federal guidance, we anticipate eligibility for $208 million through this program. The funds will be distributed to school districts through the state’s general apportionment formula, the state’s primary funding formula." News release
2011 Gov. Gregoire proposes higher education tuition, accountability measures Legislative package would allow public colleges and universities greater tuition-setting authority connected to accountability. News release
2011 Department of Education proposal Gov. Gregoire aims to ensure that Washington students receive a seamless, high-quality education from early learning through career as well as create opportunities for more Washington residents to earn bachelor’s degree. She also wants to increase accountability and performance in higher education. News release
Policy Brief
2011 Governor signs Launch Year Act Law she requested will ensure more options are offered to high school seniors to take technical or advanced placement courses that lead to college credit or a career. By making the last year of high school the first year of career training or college, families and students save on tuition costs. News release
2011 Gov. Gregoire signs higher education bills “Last July, I asked the Higher Education Funding Task Force to develop proposals to better fund our colleges and universities and to improve the institutions’ accountability and performance. I endorsed the task force’s recommendations, and today I signed the resulting legislation into law." News release
2011 Gregoire’s statement on tentative agreement on Tacoma teacher strike “This agreement provides a long-term solution, meets the districts needs and ensures teachers remain proud to report to their classroom every day." News release
2011 Gov. Gregoire announces new education reform proposals Gov. Gregoire announces she’ll ask the Legislature to approve a series of reform proposals to support implementation of a new teacher and principal evaluation system, provide opportunities for struggling schools to partner with universities, reduce requirements for students and administrators so more time can be focused on instruction and create a new executive-level office to focus on educational attainment. News release
Policy brief
2011 Gregoire applauds award of Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant Washington is awarded a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant, which will bring up to $60 million to the state over the next 4 years to help ensure all children start school ready to succeed. News release
Race to the Top
2012 Governor appoints members to Joint Task Force on Education Funding Governor appoints 3 members to panel charged with recommending sustainable funding options for K-12 education. News release
2012 Gov's statement on Washington Supreme Court ruling on education funding Gov. Gregoire is pleased with the state Supreme Court's recognition of Washington's significant work to improve education system and acknowledgement of the critical reforms being made. The court made it clear that the state must provide dependable funding to implement reforms. News release
2012 Governor signs teacher and principal evaluations bill into law Law she proposed will enhance Washington's system of teacher and principal evaluations. News release