Case in point - their Sunday editorial, Election time, so get serious on education funding.
Candidates filed to run for the jobs of lawmaker and governor last week. When they show up on your doorstep in coming months, be ready to grill them about the state’s failure on its most important issue:Great idea.
What are you going to do to fully fund education?
Legislative leaders recently gave justices the same line they’ve been plying since January. Their report trumpets a promise to come up with a plan to fully pay educators salaries … next year.They don't just call out the legislature; they go after the Governor and his challenger.
The “plan for a plan” approach was a bad idea during the legislative session, and now that it is put on paper, and put before the Supreme Court, it looks worse.
Gov. Jay Inslee has been missing in action on solutions for the teacher compensation gap. His leading Republican challenger, Bill Bryant, also has not offered a solution.The only person they like? Randy Dorn. And, they agree with him on what the Supreme Court could do (giving options that are huge.)
Dorn urged the Supreme Court to impose “even tougher sanctions, possibly against specific lawmakers, to coerce them once and for all to come up with the plan the Court ordered.”They end thusly:
Dorn is right. The Supreme Court needs to up the ante. The fines haven’t worked; the Legislature ignored them. If the court is truly going to shake the tree in Olympia, it could prohibit school from starting, as courts in other states have. Or it could take an eraser to the state tax code, as Justice Charles Johnson speculated in open court.
When candidates show up at your door, remind them that the Supreme Court mandated a constitutionally adequate education financing system in 2012.One, bravo to the Times.
Kindergartners that year are now getting ready for middle school
Two, I believe that both sides - Republican and Democrat will have to give to get this done. No sacred cows (see income tax and unions.) The Republicans must come to grips with the fact that there HAS to be new money and the Dems have to tell the union that there must be something to give on as well. Nothing should be off the table except making cuts to health/social/public safety items in order to meet the Supreme Court mandate.
Three, here are my comments at the Times:
To note, the money that they have put into education for Mccleary is NOT all new money. We had a recession, remember? There were big cuts in budgets in districts across the state. Some of that money is putting back money to fill those cuts. Some members of the legislature like Chad Magendanz love to say how much they have put in without acknowledging the realities.
I also agree with the Times that people on both sides of the aisle should understand that something has to give and yes, there will need to be changes if we want to fully fund education.
Where I differ with the Times is wondering where they were when they were pushing charter schools. Because there were some in the legislature who did very little on McCleary and spend a huge amount of time on charter school legislation. During public committee meetings, they even went so far as to wear t-shirts and scarves as members of the public came to them - in good faith -believing that they would listen impartially to citizens who came to Olympia to testify.
I hope that lackluster focus on McCleary and that laser focus on charter schools is something the Supreme Court considers given they have been fining the legislature for months on McCleary and struck down the charter law in the fall. I submit that the Court might find that lack of action on McCleary and forceful action on charter schools somewhat offensive.