He says, yes, THE paramount duty of the state is public education....but nearly everything else should get a cut in order to fulfill it.
That way you get to say "I'm absolutely for fulfilling the constitutional requirement" BUT you also get to use that as the excuse for cutting into the health/human services and public safety areas of the budget.
Except that those who care about public education have never said (and I'm going out on a limb here) and wouldn't say, "Yup, public education funding first."
Because poor kids would be affected by those health/human services cuts just as they are being hurt by lack of full funding for public ed.
Because you don't hurt the poor, the disabled and the elderly in order to make a point.
I thought I had heard all the excuses on McCleary but this one is stunning. (This guy also says the state should give money to parents to go to private schools.)
end of update
One of the members of Washington's Paramount Duty, Summer Stinson, attended a taskforce meeting this week on McCleary. She had been encouraged by State Senator Ann Rivers to come with "solutions."
Here's what Stinson said at the WPD Facebook page:
I was disappointed with the reaction to my testimony yesterday. I took a vacation day from work, put my kid in before-school care, drove the 3-hour round trip to Olympia, and was told immediately prior to testifying by Senator Rivers that I had to propose at least two solutions during my testimony.
I suggested that the task force look at two solutions that I have been testifying about and proposing since last October at the Senate Education Listening Tour: (1) eliminating some of the over 600 tax breaks totally over $300 billion a biennium, and (2) adding a capital gains tax. As soon as I finished my testimony, Senator Rivers began criticizing my suggestions.
I have to admit that I'm confused. I did as I was asked by Senator Rivers, which makes her response all the more puzzling.Here's video on how that played out. Patronizing doesn't truly cover it.
This is the kind of dismissive behavior that makes citizens NOT want to come to Olympia.
Last thing: here's Senator Rivers on citizens coming to testify;
"Give me a call, send me a letter or e-mail, visit me in my office, *testify in front of a legislative committee* – no matter how you choose to get involved, I want your state capitol to be an open and inviting environment." - http://annrivers.src.wastateleg.org/"