Monday, November 28, 2011

Teachers in Olympia Today

This in from the Stranger Slog:

Jesse Hagopian, a leader of Social Equality Educators, notes the 2010 ruling in King County Superior Court, that found Washington State is failing to meet its constitutional obligation to fund basic education. 

Just as the gavel struck and the Washington State House of Representatives concluded its opening day of session before the budget committee convenes, nearly three-dozen teachers stood up to protest what they fear will be yet another year of cuts to basic education and state colleges. 

"Mic check!" yelled Jesse Hagopian, wearing a suit. "Mic check," yelled back the teachers in red vests, who unfurled a banner that said: "Citizens aren't the lawbreakers. Lawmakers who cut funding from schools are the lawbreakers." And they chanted:
It is immoral
It is illegal
These cuts will hurt families
These cuts will hurt kids
These cuts will hurt educators
King county Superior Court judge
Ruled that these cuts are constitutionally illegal
The Constitution of Washington state reads it is the paramount duty to fully
Fund education
We therefore issue a citizens arrest of this Washington State Legislature
We call for taxing the rich
We call to fund the schools
 Bravo!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Caught this during my break. From ST:

http://today.seattletimes.com/2011/11/new-poll-finds-support-for-state-sales-tax-increase/

Gov.'s proposal of temporary (3 year) half cent sales tax increase. It could add $500 million to state's annual revenue. The poll breaks down which programs pollers want to support vs. cut.

Seattle mom

SolvayGirl said...

LEV emailed their budget calculator to gauge which public school programs (transportation, all-day K, etc.). I emailed abck that I did not see the option to impose an income tax on the 1%. The sales tax option is not acceptable. Just another regressive tax for WA state.

WV: grasi "you're welcome"

Anonymous said...

wow! budget leads (ledes ?? ) 5 pm news on KOMO - and there is Jesse Hagopian getting hauled off!

I'm feeling like I'm living in a Democracy instead of a Drool-0-cracy!

Maybe the worthless mouth breathers taking up leader paychecks can letting the thieves take LESS - the thieves who wrecked everything by taking too much!

(Pst! stop calling it a 'tax' hike - it costs money to NOT live in a Somalia - it is about time the Balmers PAID for their community.)

NotDrooling

Anonymous said...

Solvay:

What do you propose if not a half-penny tax? We are not an income tax state. I think you need to be more detailed.

I watched twice Gregoire's pitch on TVW last week and she is doing her best to make something happen. I can pay a temporary half-penny to stop the social bleeding. I can do that. These are not ordinary times. I'm right up front in demanding Clinton-era taxes on the rich but I can't stand by and watch us shred the safety net for a principle.

Watch Gregoire. She is honestly doing the best she can. Governor Gregoire Budget Unveiling"

I'm afraid that after all is said and done, it won't be enough and people will call it a waste. I hope not. Every little bit that it accomplishes will be more than we would have had without it.

northender

CT said...

I still hate Tim Eyman for making it so that I pay the same licensing fee on my used $9000 compact car as someone else pays on their brand-new $63,000 Cadillac Escalade road/gas/parking space hog....

SolvayGirl said...

Northender

WA needs an income tax on high earners (individuals making over $250/yr). Sales tax is one of the most regressive forms of tax going. Another 1/2 percent—temporary—right, I've heard that one before. When I moved to Seattle in 1993, the combined (state/city/county) sales tax was about 8%, now it's almost 10% in some parts of the city. That is an even-steven tax on everyone—fair by some people's standards, but not mine. People not making much money don't need to have another 1/2 % lost on purchases (besides food—but necessities like toilet paper, etc. ARE taxed).

It's the same argument that CT makes. Why should someone making very little, or paying very little for a vehicle pay the same as someone who has a ton of excess cash left over?

You're right, we are not an income tax state, but we should be—at least for high income earners. I don't have the exact figures, but low-income WA residents pay a much higher percentage of their earnings in tax because of our regressive system. It's got to change, but until we stop allowing the system to keep raising "fair" taxes like sales tax to make up budget deficits it never will.

James Boutin said...

I love that protesters offered troopers plastic handcuffs to arrest the legislature. Why not?

dj said...

SolvayGirl, you are right. Absolutely. But voters here rejected an income tax on the wealthy. Doesn't mean that we can't have one, but it isn't irrational to think it may not pass the legislature, or that if it did, it would be repealed by referendum next voting cycle.

Anonymous said...

Solvay, the People voted against the income tax. You don't like it; I don't like it. We need the money. Not even for me or teachers. For social services. You can have your indignation and your righteous beliefs (with which I agree) but don't let those things penalize people who need help. You'll have the satisfaction of being right but they will pay for it. Not you. There's no honor in being right if you lose the argument.

northender

Anonymous said...

Ditto SolvayGirl.
As hard as it is to see things go unfunded (including my own job possibly), I don't feel that I can support a sales tax increase when I know it will disproportionately hurt the poor, the working class and the middle class and once again let off the privileged few. Enough is enough.
It's time for the rich to pay. That should be the proposal. (and yes, I know it basically failed in this state -1098-. Time to educate the public and then tax the rich.)

HTML

Anonymous said...

Wish I could have joined them in Olympia today. I am grateful to all who gave their time, energy, and money to be there to seek justice. I am proud to be associated with educators such as those who spoke up in Olympia today.

HTML

Anonymous said...

The bookend to tax is cut. How about looking at cutting some of the special districts that collect state money and taxes? Streamline some of our operations done by these special districts. We have 80 of them.

http://crosscut.com/2011/11/22/politics-government/21562/Instead-of-cutting-the-cities--revenue-share%2C-should-we-trim-some-special-districts-/

http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/governance/spd/spdmain.aspx

Seattle mom

Anonymous said...

This is for long-term care and developmental disability services, public safety, and education. She is scraping the bottom of the barrel. You are acting like a Republican when you throw people away for money regardless of the principle you stand upon.

I will never let money come before people truly in need. That kind of thinking is anathema to me.

Give her the half-penny and then do what Eyman does, get out there a make a fuss.

northender

Anonymous said...

Seattle Mom, I'll check those links out if you'll watch the link I posted in the thread. Watch Gregoire and then come back and respond.

northender

SolvayGirl said...

I certainly don't want to see education or any of the necessary social services cut, but I believe that as long as we continue to tax ourselves with increases in property and sales taxes so we can scrape by, we will never see a fair and sustainable system.

The reason the state is in trouble is because people aren't spending as much, and housing values (and in turn property values) are dropping—hence less revenue for the state.

Adding to our sales tax is only going to have a negative impact on our state's economy. I believe the climate is starting to lean and least slightly toward the progressive side and would hope we could find other ways to increase revenue besides sales tax. Cutting tax breaks for special interests, loopholes could be a good start.

Anonymous said...

Just looked at the Crosscut article. I've never understood the value of the Education Districts. Are they still necessary? Would I miss them if they were eliminated? I don't know.

I have a friend - Lt. Col. in the army of a similar age as me - and he gets pay that is commensurate with the cost-of-living in his area. Teachers' pay is not prorated to compensate for expenses. In red Washington, teachers pay goes a lot farther than in blue WA.

I don't know much about all this but the ideas in the Crosscut column are certainly intriguing. And the issue of pay from region to region may or may not make a difference.

That was interesting. Thank you.

northender

Charlie Mas said...

CT, I pay the same license fees on my $3,000 scooter that weighs less than 300 pounds and gets over 70 mpg.

I have to pay the same parking costs, too, even though I can park my scooter in the space between parked cars.

Anonymous said...

Solvay, watch the video. Gregoire is not one to miss an opportunity. If you stay mired in beliefs, nothing will get done. That would be the crime.

Thanks for a good discussion.

northender

Anonymous said...

what about taxing some companies?
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the-solution-close-tax-loopholes/Content?oid=7336303

no longer in seattle

mirmac1 said...

Beverly Hall, disgraced former Atlanta Supt, in her first interview:

Why did the teachers do what they did?

"I can't subscribe motives to other people," Hall told Smith. "I can only think that either they were not secure in their ability to do the job, or they didn't believe the children -- even if they did their job -- could learn. Or a combination of the two. I can't explain it any other way."

How about they don't want to lose their job? Or they needed a raise to pay their mortgage!? What an asinine douchebag! And, oops, sorry, off topic.

Beverly Hall denies responsibility for cheating

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, I hate to suggest it because of the tremendous suffering but maybe we have to hit rock bottom to get the Legislature to act.

There is NOTHING stopping them from enacting an income tax except "it can't be done." Yes, it can and it's called voting.

If enough people would rise up, they would do it. That many of them are in areas where their constituents say "no, no, no", then maybe we need to let everyone hit bottom and see what it feels like.

I do not say that lightly or coldly but something has to give. We can't keep waiting for the next initiative or legislative session.

Sure, enact another tax. It will not solve the problem.

anonymous said...

I must say I agree with Melissa on this one.

Frankie

Anonymous said...

Mirmac:
Beverly Hall is to Culture of Cheating

as

Murdoch Corporation is to Culture of Phone Hacking

Denial at the top to take responsibility for the entire house of cards culture set up by person(s) at the top.

-Skeptical-

Anonymous said...

"Denial at the top to take responsibility for the entire house of cards culture ..."

Weird. That sounds like a former SPS Superintendent...

Oompah

WV says blame it on the "mings" (must be minions and underlings all in a box)

mirmac1 said...

Yes, thanks to Tim Eyman, the 2/3 requirement to enact a "revenue enhancement" essentially opens the door to gamesmanship between the minority party and the majority party - while the rest of us suffer.

This undemocratic restriction is being challenged in court, however.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that is isn't us who will hit rock bottom. It is the really poor and sick although we well may suffer if criminals are out on the streets unmonitored.

Rock bottom? What does that mean? And for whom?

northender