Money can’t fix everything, but isn’t it painfully obvious that additional state funding would alleviate at least a few of the problems of the Seattle School District, and probably those of other districts around the state? I’m not just talking about smaller class sizes, more money for books, teacher training, better enrollment staff and computers, etc. I'm envisioning money that could help move us from a siege and crisis reality to a rational blueprint for meaningful progress on those lofty educational and social equity goals that are as common as Halloween candy.
If you are one of those people that think that school closures, choice restriction, and private funding should be last resort financing schemes, now is the time to start agitating for real money from the people who are actually tasked with the job of slicing up the public pie.
This is the time to match education vision with specific proposals.
With Democrats nicely padding their seat margins in the Legislature in the recent election, I think it is safe to say that the climate for better funding hasn’t looked this good in a long time. And yes, I know we need a lot more than money (e.g. leadership, vision, smart people), but without it I think we are bound to spend a lot of time in screaming matches.
This week there are a couple of events of note for public education junkies. First, the Washington Learns Education Summit takes place on Monday. Details here. A final report is to be released and, if some of the preliminary materials available on their website are any indication, mighty winds will blow. Worth paying attention to, and commenting on as necessary, but I have some doubts as to the shelf life of this particular well-intentioned effort.
On Tuesday night, there is a Legislative Roundtable at Eckstein Middle School, sponsored by the Seattle Council of PTSA. Details here.
I received the following about what to expect:
This annual pre-legislative session event is an opportunity for PTA members and other constituents to share their advocacy and legislative priorities with their legislators. It is also an opportunity for legislators to share their objectives with their constituents, hence laying the foundation for the 2006 legislative session.
On a personal note, my family attended the Ruth Parker math presentation at Mercer Middle School on Thursday night, an excellent and probably more inspiring event than the one at Rainier Beach the same evening. Also attending was Washington Rep. Ross Hunter, a whip-smart Eastside Democrat who is deep on education issues. I was pleased that he was chatting with Carla Santorno and inviting her to lunch. But shouldn’t our District and Board officials be proposing lunch dates with powerful guys like Ross, and not the other way around? Maybe they are, but just out of the spotlight? I hope so!