WA lawmakers: Education reform is still breathing

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SEATTLE (AP) -- With cash-strapped schools struggling for scarce dollars this legislative session, a public fight that has erupted between the governor and the schools chief could make things more complicated.

The week before the Legislature is set to convene Monday for a 105-day session, Gov. Chris Gregoire essentially proposed replacing Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn with a new Secretary of Education.

Gregoire's proposal would bring control of all the state's education departments and boards under one leadership structure.

The governor said she was open to debating the superintendent's future but her aim is accountability.

Dorn called the governor's proposal a smoke screen to distract attention away from more pressing state issues.