Monday, August 29, 2016

Let's Get McCleary Done

Washington's Paramount Duty is organizing a trip down to Olympia on Tuesday, September 6th to address the Education Funding Task Force that is working on McCleary funding issues.

Yes, I know that's the first day of school but if you can't come, please DO weigh in anyway.

E-mail Tali Rausch, who is the head of WPD, with your funding thoughts. She will be compiling these e-mails to present to the committee. A huge stack of statements from parents and communities really would send a message to these legislators. Her e-mail is:

tali@paramountduty.org

Here's what input the Task Force is seeking:

1) What is your vision for education in Washington?

2) What do you see is the impact of chronically underfunding schools?

3) How would you like to see education funded in our state?


Need help with what to say? WPD has a toolbox to help you out.

If you want to submit your testimony to your legislator as well, here's a link to legislators' e-mail addresses.
From Tali and WPD:

Dear WPD Supporter,

I am going to Olympia on September 6th with my 3 children, Jonah (5th grader), Ezra and Ellie (twin 3rd graders), because I believe every child in our state has the right to an amply funded public education -- to having updated textbooks, books on their library shelves, access to art and music classes, support of school counselors and nurses, and an uncrowded classroom, allowing teachers to give each child the individual attention and support they need.

Will you join me? Come hold a sign or testify, show up and be noticed. Your presence makes a difference!

The first report from the consultant to the Task Force is due September 1st. We anticipate this hearing will involve a discussion of that report.

Sign up today!
Education Funding Task Force Meeting
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
John L. O'Brien Building, Room A

Olympia, WA

Get involved:
· Come to Olympia and be with us to share our message. Hold a sign outside the hearing room or join us inside!
· Volunteer now to help us organize the event.
· Testify during the hearing or by proxy (email me your a one page testimony and we will submit to the task force on your behalf).
· Share this event, http://paramountduty.org/vision-for-education/, on Facebook, tweet it, and tell your friends/neighbors.
· Help us raise the $5,000 we need for:
· Transportation & food — Most of our supporters will be traveling a significant distance.
· Child care — 9/6 is a weekday, and many supporters will need to bring their children. During the 2-hour hearing, we need to provide child care.
· Messaging Materials — We need to produce messaging materials for our supporters to distribute in Olympia – and back home.

THANK YOU, as always, for your support.
Tali
Tali Rausch,
President
Washington's Paramount Duty

8 comments:

Robert Cruickshank said...

Thanks for sharing! I believe it's the day before the first day of school, at least in SPS. But the timing was dictated by the legislature's Education Funding Task Force, which scheduled their hearing for September 6. Hope to see lots of people there!

Melissa Westbrook said...

That's right, Robert; I'll correct that.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, thank you so much for putting up a post about WPD's Vision for Education 9/6 event!

We'd love to have as many people join us on 9/6 in Olympia as possible. Please come, whether or not you testify. Just having a presence is very helpful. Also, please know that I'd never testified in the legislature until a year ago, and I found to my great surprise that it really isn't hard! The best testimony is based on personal experience. (Which is a lesson I need to remember too.) I'm happy to talk to anyone who thinks that he/she or his/her child might testify. Email me at summer@paramountduty.org.

Also, if you can't make it, please do submit testimony in writing to Tali (tali@paramountduty.org), and she'll submit the written testimony to the task force.

Summer Stinson

Levy Concerns said...

I'm often concerned that the WPD group will help force a levy swap and Seattle will suffer. In my mind, I'd hate to see Seattle loose tens of millions of dollars.

I've also heard that WPD is working with LEV. I'd like to know-more.

Levy Concerns said...

The WPD group seems not to care about taking a stand- on anything. I'm often confused by this group.

Alyssa said...

Does the group have specific plans for bringing in new revenue? I haven't been able to find details, from looking at the Toolbox and other links on the site, but maybe I just haven't dug deep enough.

There seem to be a number of bills floating around that could potentially be helpful, like SB 6093, as well as some property tax related ones. If I knew which bills or proposals were deemed best by the group, we could do a letter writing campaign in support of specific proposals, and maybe get some traction around those action items.

Robert Cruickshank said...

WPD has taken very clear positions on new revenue (for it) and on a levy swap (against it). WPD replied to the Education Funding Task Force's request for funding proposals last month with the following white paper that represents a clear and strong statement in support of new revenue: http://paramountduty.org/wpd-white-paper/

These comments reflect what WPD has heard from parents and teachers across the state. It's not a final plan for a single new revenue source, but it instead lays out the basic philosophy by which education revenues should be generated, and lists some possible options that fit those values - including a capital gains tax on high incomes, closing corporate tax loopholes, a carbon tax, a state income tax, and more.

Alyssa, I think we will see specific proposals made in the new legislative session, but for right now the best thing to do would seem to be to tell the legislature directly what you want to see. They need to hear from more people.

Jan said...

Robert -- thanks for this. I had wondered what WPD's position was on the levy swap that I suspect the Republicans will try to force on us. It is always great when someone who is working on these issues way harder than I am actually is working on them the way I wish I could.