Thursday, May 26, 2016

Support Washington's Paramount Duty

Please consider coming to WPD's kick-off campaign party tonight, from 5:30-7:30 at the Sarajevo Lounge, 2332 1st Avenue, in Belltown.

There's good reason to support their work because, as we recently learned, the WAPTSA wants to leave the work to fully-fund schools off their active "to-do" list.
(They are leaving it on their standing resolutions list.  More on this to come.)

Who's going to go to Olympia and directly and succinctly argue the issues?  WPD.  (I would say, "Who ya gonna call?" but the WPD is better than the Ghostbusters.)


Rebecca said...

We are better than the Ghostbusters? Thanks, Melissa!

We have a huge amount of work to do, though, to advocate successfully for ample funding - please join us if you can (tonight, on our facebook group, or at future events).

-Rebecca (WPD Board Member)

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if it is realistic for our Legislature too fund schools first above all other needs in the state. When the state constitution was written wasn't the economy of our state completely different? The reduced funding since the 1970's may not be because of the legislature being against school funding. Instead it may be that all the other needs of the state budget have gotten more expensive over the years. Health care costs and salaries have gone up over the years as have capital expenditures for buildings. Isn't there a possibility that the legislature just can't be asked to fund schools first and that we need to fund more at a local level?
NW Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

NW Mom, you have valid points and, in fact, charter supporters were very unhappy that the Court had used a 101 year old ruling to bolster their case. So different times.

However, the backbone of any state and its economy is its workforce. So unless someone proposes and passes an amendment to the constitution, this is where we are.

But keep in mind, we have the most regressive tax system in the country. The entire country. The tax system needs an overhaul and that is the work of the legislature.

I do believe the money is there but it could mean rolling back some tax breaks for very large companies or an income tax.

I think the money is there and I think taxpayers want all schools to be great, not just the communities that can pay for it. (Seattle voters are very generous but having to fund at 25% is pretty ridiculous.)

Lynn said...

NW Mom,

If that is the case, legislators are still at fault. When they recognized that the costs of other services were increasing, they had a moral responsibility to address that through either increasing revenue or decreasing those services - rather than by stealing from our schools.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to justify trying to squeeze even more money out of tax payers when a district like SPS which has an annual billion dollar budget can't seen to rise above mediocre performance.

On top of that, SPS isn't doing itself any favors by spinning up a continual stream of social engineering programs with most of these programs failing to meet any level of success in addition, bloating administrative cost to support those programs.

Worst is SPS rejection of providing challenging programs for those students willing to strive for excellence. The elephant in the room, middle class parents who came back into the district are now questioning that choice.

For years these parents have mistakenly thought they could reason with SPS to provide the services they expect for students.

I see a pattern of SPS choosing feel good social programs over academics to appease various groups. I think we have had enough.

End PC

Melissa Westbrook said...

End PC, the overall performance might be mediocre but, like many other urban districts, some students do well (for a variety of reasons) and others do much worse.

I would agree that programs like MTSS which seem to exist for people at JSCEE to have work are not so useful. However, I believe that supplying direct supports for kids who need them most are needed. If that is social engineering, so be it.

"The elephant in the room, middle class parents who came back into the district are now questioning that choice."

You may not be wrong on this point. I'll have a thread today about yet another school grappling with issues that the district should be doing a lot better on AND that is making middle class parents question their commitment to this district.

Right now, the district is just trying to keep their capacity heads above water so if some people leave, I'm not sure the district cares. But they really don't need (and should they should care) that they need parents of all kinds and should not be alienating the ones who have a sustaining and stabilizing effect on schools.