Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Fight is On for McCleary (using blackmail for leverage)

Over at Representative Chad Magendanz' Facebook page, there's quite the discussion over fulfilling McCleary and also what to do about charter schools.  He has much to say on both topics.
He starts with this:

Our bipartisan group working on the charter fix remains firmly committed to addressing the issues identified in the Supreme Court’s ruling and keeping our charter school doors open. The Senate committee testimony Thursday really highlighted the need for these innovative schools that serve our most impoverished areas, and the timing of the Court’s press release was particularly cruel to the students who travelled down to Olympia to show their support.

Again, as if the Court has time to tell their staff to keep them updated on what groups come to Olympia to speak to legislators.  That's just not plausible.   Also, that "bipartisan group" - I think their one Dem might be Seattle's Rep. Eric Pettigrew who seems to make it his life's work to just sign up for these groups.

So I asked, based on what Magendanz had written at the GOP Washington legislative page about McCleary and the state budget:

So Rep, you laid out a timeline that stretches out for years and you said you and the other legislators, who work dutifully, session after session on budget issues but you don't know "the scope of our spending?"

Because, honestly, who in the legislature doesn't know the scope of the spending in Washington state?  They all work and/or review the budget.   

He said:

We know what districts pay for compensation, but we don't know what portion is for the state's program of basic education and what are for legitimate local enhancements to that program. We tried to fund that forensic accounting effort in the budget this year, but the Governor vetoed it.

I certainly was surprised at this because I did not read his previous statements that this was about spending in districts but spending in the state.   When I asked him, he did not reply.

But then we got to McCleary and charter schools:

Christopher Lemke Chad how many of the 1200 charter schools students are impoverished? There are thousands more of these impoverished students and family in our public schools. Do not fault the court for twice making the correct decision. Why grind this ax when you cannot support the 100's of thousands suffering from your lack of action. Use your influence to get some private grant monies for these PRIVATE schools. Please remember public means open to every student not hand picked or rejected because of special needs. It also means local control by elected public candidates.
Chad Magendanz Christopher, we're not talking about kicking those million other students into even lower preforming schools. And keeping the doors open for our charter schools isn't costing anywhere near the $3 billion per biennium that McCleary will cost. You can't really compare the two.
Magendanz is right - you can't compare over 1M+ students to just 1200.  But he also doesn't explain why time should be spend finding money for charter schools and where it will come from. 
The money shot by Magendanz (bold mine)?
Chad Magendanz Let me be clear: The biggest political obstacle to wrapping up McCleary right now is a charter school fix. If the Speaker won't allow a vote, McCleary doesn't have a chance. Is the teachers union willing to risk $3 billion per biennium just so that 1300 at-risk kids have fewer options? 
One, there you have it.  Of course, I don't know exactly what "vote" he is speaking of because there's nothing out there currently to vote on.  
Two, "McCleary doesn't have a chance?"  Does he know that the Washington State Supreme Court is out there? 
Three, sir, you do know the meaning of the word "blackmail?"  What an ugly way to get money.  
There is no special session fairy coming for charters and unfortunately, the charter schools are getting their funding cut off by Dec 14th (if not sooner.)  What then? Well, some may get private money but I doubt all of them will get that funding.  (Like those in Spokane which I hear their district is trying to absorb.)  
But once they are running on private dollars, they are private schools.  At the same time, the Charter Commission and Spokane SD will see their authorizer oversight dollars end.  So those schools truly are running on their own with no oversight by anyone (elected or otherwise.) 
So they wait until the real legislative session starts on January 11, 2016.  I'm sure that Rep Magendanz will have some quick fix for funding for charters but, given he will have to take the money from some OTHER program/department, it would seem some discussion would be in order.  Whose program gets the quick ax so that charter schools go on?
Except, is it legally possible to go from a charter to a private school and then back to a charter?  I don't think so.  But that's what we have courts for - to decide legal matters.

Holding McCleary hostage is the wrong signal to send.  

Ken Rogers was right - you have to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.  And, when to walk away. Sometimes an issue gets too far afoot to fix. 


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...

We don't take off-topic comments. Please do not do this.

seattle citizen said...

It's that immature poster who threatened to spam. How rude. Commenters often "yell" at each other here, but no one has ever sunk so low.

seattle citizen said...

Magendanz just blocked me. What is it about these pro-charterites that they have to moderate their blogs, block commenters, all to make sure that only those who agree with them are heard, to make sure their Gates-funded message goes out to the public uncontaminated by dissent?
Helluva way to run a democracy...and this guy is an elected official?

seattle citizen said...

I just asked my spouse to go his page and see if my comments were there. I can see them on my fb, she can see them on hers...but neither of us can comment. Maybe he didn't block me, but it's strange....

Catherine said...

I see Rep Magendanz is STILL claiming that charters produce better education results for less money.

Anonymous said...

Magendanz has a serious CONFLICT OF INTEREST going on --- he's one of a group of 10 legislators pushing charters AND he's sitting on the newly formed McCleary committee - he announces both in entries on the page...

his threat to withhold money from public schools till charters are OK/funded is an ABUSE OF his POWER/POSITION - #WhatElseIsNew??? If he had any sense of ethics, he would recuse himself from the McCleary committee....

~Crazy Sahila