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Education Lab is a Seattle Times project that spotlights promising approaches to persistent challenges in public education. It is produced in partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network and is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Amazon and City University of Seattle. Learn more about Ed Lab

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This week, I’m trying something new and sharing the newsletter section about what our Ed Lab team is reading right here.

The Road Map Project just released its 2018 report on education across King County, and it shows “a rapidly changing region that’s not meeting the needs of its K-12 students.” You can read the full results here and dive deeper with the project’s handy data dashboard that can be filtered by school, district and more. Some highlights: There’s a misalignment between what students need and what they are offered; South King County is an access desert for early learning programs; and our K-12 student population continues to diversify. Stay tuned for our coverage.

More than 4,000 students at San Jose State University have found themselves homeless in the last year — about 13 percent of enrolled students. A group of students at the university formed the Student Homeless Alliance “to make sure students who don’t have stable housing have the support they need to succeed in college,” The Mercury News reports. The school and local government said they will explore long-term solutions to the crisis, but students are upset at the lack of more immediate support.


U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris introduced an ambitious, expensive plan this week to raise teacher pay across the country. The California Democrat wants to give the average teacher a $13,500 pay raise, “with the exact number based on the size of each state’s pay gap” between teachers and similarly educated professionals, Chalkbeat reports. How popular would the plan be, and would it help schools retain more teachers?

‘I’m praying for the Special Olympics’: Read one special-needs athlete’s response to Betsy DeVos. The U.S. secretary of education presented a budget proposal that would eliminate all $17.6 million in federal funding for the Special Olympics, which runs programs for more than 5 million athletes in more than 170 countries. U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., told DeVos that the funding loss would affect 272,000 children, The Washington Post reports.