State House GOP's education duties change hands

Staff writerMarch 31, 2014 

One postscript to my story from the weekend about the potential demise of the senior project as a statewide requirement:

The story mentions that Enumclaw Republican Rep. Cathy Dahlquist was miffed about the way a final compromise took shape on a bill raising the number of credits required for high-school graduation. She was shut out of the final dealmaking, which led to several changes in the bill -- including the elimination of the senior project.

She objected to that process, although not to the final product.

Dahlquist gave an emotional floor speech during debate over the bill in which she announced she was quitting as the minority House Republicans' education lead.

Rep. Chad Magendanz of Issaquah is Republicans' new ranking member on education.

Dahlquist quit the House Education Committee. It wasn't just about the credits bill, she said, although that was the final straw.

At times, Dahlquist has clashed with fellow Republicans over education policy. She also voiced frustration with the Washington Education Association, which defeated an attempt this year to revamp the law on teacher evaluations. “There are so many people that push a button that are kind of hamstrung by the WEA," she said, referring to House members' voting.

Dahlquist said she may run for a Republican leadership position that may soon be vacant -- the job of caucus chair, now held by Rep. Judy Warnick, who is running for Senate -- and she wouldn't be allowed to do that job while serving as a ranking member.

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