A hugely helpful and through wrap-up of the current discussion over K-12 public education funding (and the fulfillment of McCleary) in the Legislature over at Publicola.
Basically, the Republicans wanted to pass an amendment that said they approve an education budget FIRST and then a state budget. And all without saying what they would cut elsewhere to fulfill the needs of the education budget.
Even LEV doesn't like this idea.
It makes the Republicans look great - we care about education, first and foremost - when we all know those cuts would be drastic ones especially to areas of social services which have already been slashed. Mental health services (like for people who might go shoot up someplace)? Already cut? Insurance for poor people? Already cut. Higher ed? Already cut.
I'm not saying there won't be pain but it has to be clear BEFORE any vote where the pain will be.
End of update.
In a newbie display of idiocy, newly elected Rep. Liz Pike (R-Camas) and several other Republicans are sponsoring HB 1788 that would authorize teachers to carry guns at school.
Hilariously, here's their name for the bill:
Sec. 1. This act may be known and cited as the safer schools act of 2013.
Given the huge number of accidental shootings in this country, nothing could go wrong here. (The latest is a 3-year old who killed himself picking up mom's unlock, loaded pink gun. He thought he was a toy and who could blame him?) And cops love multiple guns in a building - makes it so easy to figure out who the bad guy is.
And what is Section 2 of this act?
According to Article IX of the Washington state Constitution it is the paramount duty of the state to provide for basic education.
And fully funding schools falls further to the bottom of the list than ever so we can arm teachers.
In other legislative news, Publicola gives details in this clear account here about McCleary and funding it. Their information comes from the Washington State Budget and Policy Center (a lefty group).
Basically (and no surprises here as we go to the polls for two levies);
[new] revenue, it’s inconceivable that we can make enough investments
in education" to satisfy the mandate, Budget and Policy Center lobbyist
Kim Justice said in a conference call with reporters this morning.
"Schools rely too much on local funding to pay for things the state
should be paying for."
The new talking point about education in Washington State (this via the turncoat Rodney Tom) is that it's not HOW much money but how we spend it. Nothing about the fact that our Legislature is okay that we don't even fund to the national average. We don't have summer school or college/career counselors in high school or elementary school counselors in Seattle. All because we have no money.
I would LOVE for Senator Tom to tell Seattle Schools what he would spend less on and what he would spend more on.