Washington scored a big fat "F" in education spending and an embarrassing "D-minus" in college readiness, according to the new "Quality Counts" state-by-state comparison published annually by Education Week magazine.
When it comes to per-pupil spending, Washington ranks No. 42 in the country and No. 44 in state expenditures as a percent of state taxable resources.
Still, overall, the state at least gets a passable "C" when all factors are considered, ranking No. 38 among 50 states.
The state scored a "C" in both childhood education and chance for success, but picked up a "B-plus" in funding equity, meaning the chasm between rich and poor school districts is relatively minor.
Washington did manage to collect one "A," in the category of economy and workforce, and the K-12 system was credited with being successful in work readiness, and offering career-tech diplomas.
Washington is not alone in receiving the sobering assessment. Only Maryland, in fact, according to Education Week's "Quality Counts" report, merited a "B-plus", with eight other states getting grades of "B" or "B-minus." South Dakota finished at the bottom of the overall list with a "D" grade.
Though the "C" grade is nothing to write home about, Washington can take some comfort -- cold comfort, perhaps -- that its neighbors states, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, were all rated at "C-minus."
The "Quality Counts" report surfaces at a time when the Legislature is grabbling with a decision to make even deeper cuts to education or letting voters choose whether or not they'd approve of a temporary half-cent increase in the state sales tax to restore K-12 and higher education spending.