Candidate Statement For Ryne Rohla Everett School Board Position 5

July 14, 2023


Editor’s Note: On June 18th candidates in the August 1st Primary Election for Everett City Council Districts, Everett School Board and Port of Everett Commissioner along with Snohomish County offices including Everett voters were invited to send a statement up to 500 words to introducing themselves to our readers. Invitations were sent to the email address on file with the Snohomish County Auditor. Not all of the candidates responded but we are publishing unedited statements from those that did reply by our deadline. We think this is a good way for you to hear directly from the people running. All City of Everett offices are non-partisan, other offices vary. does not endorse candidates or issues but does accept paid political advertising.

Ryne Rohla

Ryne Rohla – candidate supplied photo

I’m Dr. Ryne Rohla. I hold a PhD in economics from Washington State University, currently working as a research economist for DSHS and the state Attorney General’s Office in the Antitrust Division. I have three daughters, one of whom is old enough to attend Everett Public Schools. Four of my nieces and nephews also attend EPS. I graduated from Stanwood High School and met my wife while in Running Start at Everett Community College.

While I’ve taught four years of university courses, published my own research in top journals such as Science, and worked as a consultant for major newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, I am prouder of my work for Washington’s underdogs. I provided crucial evidence in cases against monopolists, colluding companies, and price gougers which won Washington consumers and small businesses over $40 million. My current work for vulnerable adults and elders helps predict abuse before it happens.

EPS’s education quality has been declining for years, a fact continually swept under the rug. The majority of EPS students no longer meet state competency standards in math, and roughly 40% no longer meet English or science standards. For students with disabilities, science competency fell from over 75% to just 17% during the pandemic.

Yet EPS passes as many students as ever, creating a skills illusion inevitably harming students down the road. While teaching at WSU, I was stunned by how many freshmen needed remedial courses, and that was before the pandemic. These unprepared, often uninterested students dropped out far more often, acquiring decades of debt without a degree in hand.

I strongly support introducing students to skilled trades and encouraging dual credit programs. The collegebound should have as many credits as possible before graduating to reduce future debt burdens. But many students I taught attended college because they were told it was the only way to a successful career, when their interests and skills would have been far better served in an apprenticeship or internship. The greying skilled trades need competent graduates as much as anyone.

Drug abuse and student fights run rampant across the district. Evergreen Middle sees two fights a day, enough that fight videos from the school had their own Instagram feed. We need to return to pre-pandemic willingness to suspend students, employ school resource officers, and limit smartphones in schools to prevent cyberbullying. We also need better counseling resources, especially on trauma; more physical activity; and better school nutrition to increase student mental health.

We must address all these issues with a $28 million budget deficit. Economists are trained to optimize resources, and I believe constraint fosters innovation. Instead of fighting AI, for example, we can embrace the low-cost personalized tutoring it can provide.

Our children must not be consigned to underdog status from the outset. We have a responsibility to educate for something better: to nurture dreams, to empower goals, to enkindle passions. To ensure every student can climb higher, toward an ever more excellent summit.


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