Monday, January 16, 2017

From Olympia Today; For the Win


Eric M said...

The exercise of going to Olympia fills me with despair. Not because I'm cynical, but it's clear the political leaders of this state just don't care about this issue or a posse of not-very-scary teachers showing up on their day off. The sign has it exactly right. I'd like to say that at this pace, those girls will be out of high school before anything happens. But the McCleary kids have come AND gone. At this pace? There's no pace at all, and there never was. At this pace, the human race will be extinct and the Sun a cold cinder before any meaningful legislative action.

I am convinced that a more determined action (boycott new unfunded legislative "accountability" initiatives? Throw the tea into the harbor? General strike?) is required.

Anonymous said...

Those much hated Boeing employees sure pay a lot of taxes, but don't worry haters because Boeing is slowing moving out of Puget Sound along with all those taxes the Democrats love to spend.

Spilled Milk

Historian said...

Boeing received the biggest tax break in history. Care to document taxes paid by Boeing?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eric, I agree.

Spilled, no one hates Boeing. To say that giving tax breaks to Boeing and wishing some of that went to education is not hate. It's logic.

Anonymous said...

The levy cliff is now being used to corner the Dems into a bad deal. It's time for Nyland to work with the teacher's union on a temporary contract revision, or extension, or something, to avoid having the pink slips go out and get us through the next nine months. It's time to get real and come up with a plan b that protects our teachers and students until our elected officials can compromise. If they don't get it figured out by May, the Supreme Court needs to shut down the schools over the summer and Inslee needs to lock them in a room until they agree on a funding plan.

We need to get real and do something now in Seattle to avoid a disaster. No more waiting for Olympia.

Nyland's Turn

Anonymous said...

Come back in 7 years when Boeing's WA footprint is 50% smaller than today and let's see how you feel when Metro is struggling and most other tax payer funded institutions are also. Boeing workers account for 30%+ of 405 tolls and other transportation related state revenue.

Let me walk you through it, Boeing pays it's local employees who spend their money here in WA including taxes. King county's Boeing employed residents pay property taxes used for every single public service we have in King county. Seattle's Boeing employed property owners pay property taxes which Fund SPS directly.

Working at a tax payer funded institution is not really working now is it. Boeing is responsible for huge part of this nation's GDP.

We all should feel extremely fortunate to have Boeing here no matter what.

Spilled Milk

Watching said...

"The levy cliff is now being used to corner the Dems into a bad deal. '

I agree. I suspect there will be intense pressure before the pink slips get mailed. If only we had the money that Washington Charters used to pressure the legislature during the last legislative session....

Anonymous said...

Screw them! Work together to avoid sending the pink slips and lock the legislators in a room!!! Don't let them push a bad deal while throwing our kids and teachers under the bus. Stop the madness! Grab the wheel! Play smart.

Nyland's turn

Melissa Westbrook said...

Boeing and Microsoft and Amazon will not have the workers they need if there is not good public education.

Anonymous said...

Nyland's turn, I agree that it's time for some pretty drastic action, but here's where I believe it's going to take bold action from the School Board, not Nyland. Nyland is an administrator. He is duty-bound to guide the District to comply to the law to the best of his ability, squeezing as much out of whatever crumbs Olympia sends us.

The School Board, on the other hand, are the lawmakers, with the mandate from voters. They are the ones who must direct Nyland to what they consider right. If schools can't function safely in the interest of children at the level of funding SPS gets, then it's the School Board who need step up and say they'll take it up with the State Board of Education that the District can't stay open for 180 days. Then the Board has to decide if they direct Nyland to comply or whether they will suffer the consequences of their actions. Seems like MLK Day is a good day to reflect on that.

The next piece that is coming down the pike for the School Board is to decide whether we become a Sanctuary District for undocumented students, like Portland already has. Again, the administrators in the district are only as strong as the School Board that supports and directs them. The Board is going to have to decide whether they are willing to go to jail to protect students.

Taking some tough decisions like this might be exactly what SPS needs. The urgency might even bring this Board together!

Get Real

Anonymous said...

Microsoft and Amazon both milk the H1B visa program, they don't care about US students who can't find CS jobs. Boeing is not responsible for the problems with public schools. Amazon and Microsoft are sheltering 100s of Billions off shore via tax avoidance schemes in Ireland not Boeing.

Democrats have been running the show for 30 years, blame them not Boeing. My god do you realize how many UW and WSU grads Boeing hires and how much tuition Boeing employees pay for their children to attend UW and WSU.

People are barking up the wrong tree. Leave Boeing out of this.

Spilled Milk

Anonymous said...

"Sanctuary District for undocumented students"

I really doubt that voters were choosing that when they voted last year.

I doubt there is one single board member willing to spend an hour in jail for any issue.

Getting real

Anonymous said...

Boeing is on the military supply gravy train and has been since WWII. Why should we be giving them tax breaks and letting them threaten to go to anti-union states or overseas when they make billions a year in profit from taxpayer's money?

It's like a communist country. Boeing is a state enterprise with a guaranteed market; no matter what is wrong with the product they just get more money to fix it.

Yet the workers are threatened with losing their livelihood and the city, county, and state with all the income that is spent(as spilled animal secretion points out).

They get paid like commies and are as ruthless a capitalist as their shareholders demand.

So Sad!

Melissa Westbrook said...

I agree with Get Real on the Board stepping up. As well, our Mayor is a former legislator; has the Board asked him to speak up?

My, my we have a lot of people defending Boeing. All that is being said is if all these companies could give back just a bit of their tax breaks (each of them), there would be money for schools. I have nothing against Boeing workers but this is serious stuff. We need to fully fund education and it should come out of shareholders' pockets and not health/human services/public safety.

Anonymous said...

The state needs to cut funds to the UW and shift that money to K-12. Those pay checks at the UW are ridiculously high.

UW janitor

Anonymous said...

Wrote to the senators asking to support Levy Cliff bill. Received this reply from Ann Rivers:

"I can’t support a levy cliff bill. Not because I hate schools, teachers, administrators, paras, or children. Rather, it is the only forcing function that we have to keep everyone at the table to solve the McCleary issue once and for all. If we solve the levy cliff piece, I feel certain that there will be many who would think that we have done our work and walk away. I can’t speak for the Democrat solution, but I know the Republican solution removes the need for the levy cliff bill. It seems that we both want the same thing but that we have differing strategy that will get us there."

Warmly - Ann


Melissa Westbrook said...

There is no "Republican solution" that has been put forth.

Delaying the levy cliff in no way solves McCleary.

Anonymous said...

Classic, the liberals are trying to blame the Republicans for SPS's problems.

Stop using

Charlie Mas said...

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Boeing fizzle out or go away. Surely there is some middle ground between allowing Boeing the biggest tax break in state history and taxing them out of existence.

Charlie Mas said...

@Stop using, are you suggesting that there is a Republican solution to fully fund education as the constitution requires?

It seems to me that the Republicans have put more energy into denying the Court's authority and deferring any action to meet their constitutional duty. But if you're aware of a Republican plan to fully fund education, please share it.

Anonymous said...

I sent this back to Ann Rivers, we will see if/what she replies and I will report back.

"Hi Ann-- What exactly is the Republican Solution being put forth? My understanding is that there has not been a solution put forward by the Republicans. Can you please clarify. In the meantime, kids will suffer next year due to the Levy cliff crisis."


Anonymous said...

Heard back from Ann Rivers (R)...RE: Republican Solution question. That was quick.
"We are briefing the bill this week and will release it to the public early next week. "


Melissa Westbrook said...

LS, about time, no?

Shall I look into my crystal ball? Cuts to health and human services, that will be their answer.

Outsider said...

What's really needed is federal legislation to prevent companies from extorting tax breaks by pitting states against each other in a race to the bottom. You can't blame Boeing for playing the game, but it shouldn't be possible.

Of course, no such federal rules will happen under Trump. Nor under pay-to-play "new Democrats" for that matter. Nor as long as most of the Congress is leased by big money special interests. You suppose our "progressive" (in a big pharma sort of way) senators would support such rules? Ya, right, never mind.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, how do you rectify your claim "that the Republicans have put more energy into denying the Court's authority and deferring any action to meet their constitutional duty" with the fact that the Legislature has invested $4.6 billion for basic education ONLY after the Republicans took control on the Senate?

You may have reasonable concerns about the ability of the Legislature to finish the job. But to not give credit where credit is due is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Albert S.

Anonymous said...

Outsider, how about we pass federal and state legislation that would turn over all private property and the means of production to the people (i.e., proletariat)?

Albert S.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for anyone in SPS to articulate just how much money they need to run this district and exactly what that will look like.

We need a CEO to step in and run this district no more of these blowhard public servants, they just don't cut it. I think SPS has been a 12 year disaster in the making, it's one cockamamie program after another with no measurable positive results from any of them.

So Burke, when are the kids getting back to learning?

Seriously flawed

Melissa Westbrook said...

Albert S, once again, that money that got put into public ed is NOT all new money. As you may recall, we had a recession recently and during that period, districts had to make drastic cuts. So some of that money is only backfilling cuts. And, it still does not meet the requirements of the Supreme Court decision.

I think the district hurts itself by not being crystal clear about where every dollar goes and why.

Anonymous said...

The amount of money wasted by JSCEE is mind boggling. Take a look at the technology spends. My God what a boondoggle.

I hope the board cuts 40% of the staff down at JSCEE and suspends all none budgetary expenditures for the rest of the fiscal year.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, I don't understand your scolding mother response - "once again" - and what it has to do with my point. Charlie inferred that the Republicans have done nothing to solve the problem and I pointed out that they were very much involved in investing $4.6B in education.

You somehow point out...what?

Albert S.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Albert, "once again" means I've said this several times but you clearly missed it. I'm sorry but I think I can express some irritation that people don't get this simple fact when it is easy enough to know the realities of the situation.

If you don't get what I'm saying, I'm not repeating it.

Also, as was pointed out at the WPD Facebook page, how come the GOP can't sign onto the levy cliff extension WITH the proviso that it doesn't get enacted if the McCleary work gets done in a timely fashion?

Anonymous said...

What reality are you talking about?!? Were the Republicans behind $4.6B in funding for education or not? It doesn't matter whether or not this is "new" money, backfilling cuts, etc. This is a significant amount of funding to be invested from the point they started once they took the majority. That is a "simple fact."

And let me ask you this? Who held the majorities in both the Senate and the House (and the Governor's office) in 2008 and 2009 when these cuts were made? Democrats. That is a "simple fact."

I love how you voice irritation when other don't get the facts you want to convey while you convenient ignore other facts.

Why should the Republicans sign on to the levy cliff bills? Didn't they extend the levy cliff last session? Did the districts not know following the 2016 session that this would be coming? Oh, many of them (including SPS) had collectively bargained raises for teachers and now need the legislature to bail them out. Why don't those districts rescind those raises to solve their budget woes?

Albert S.

Melissa Westbrook said...

What does it matter if it's "new" money or not? Go ask the districts.

You don't get to crow about what you did if all you did was backfill. Sure the Republicans got it done but the recession was on the Republicans in Congress and Bush. Obama had to come in and clean it up.

I'm not ignoring anything but I like a full picture.

No, the Republicans did NOT extend the levy cliff last session. If they did, I sure missed it.

Yes, the districts knew this was coming but between the Supreme Court ruling (and fining and scolding) and the length of time McCleary was taking, well, you can't blame them for believing McCleary would get done. Shame on them for believing in their Legislature.

Rescind the raises? That would just land them in court. I will conceded our district had no business giving COLAs to everyone at JSCEE including the superintendent (but I have already said that as well unless you missed that, too.)

Charlie Mas said...

Albert S wrote: "my point. Charlie inferred that the Republicans have done nothing to solve the problem"

Actually, no. I did not infer that Republicans had done nothing. I never said or wrote that they had done nothing. I wrote that they were more energetic about "denying the Court's authority and deferring any action to meet their constitutional duty." I found the images of sand and their talk about the Court and the Court's authority much more vigorous than their efforts to meet their constitutional duty. Towards that end they have only gathered the low hanging fruit and only done so reluctantly, like a child dragged to a neighbor's home to apologize for breaking a window and to pay for it from their allowance. That child's boasts about the funding they have provided for windows would not impress me. Are you counting the replacement of cuts in that $4.6 billion?

I also wrote this: "if you're aware of a Republican plan to fully fund education, please share it."

Are you aware of any such plan? I have seen plans from the Governor and from the Democrats in the legislature, but I have not seen the plan from the Republicans. They have not put any energy at all into a plan to fulfill the state's constitutional duty. Please remind me of their efforts to FULFILL their constitutional duty, not to make incremental progress or comply with the easy and obvious bits, but the hard part: finishing the job.

Honestly, I would love to hear about it. Should I assume that the L├╝genpresse has suppressed the story of the Republican plan to fully fund public education in Washington State?

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