Thursday, March 01, 2018

From Washington's Paramount Duty

Dear Education Advocate,

There is still a lot of work to do in order to fully and amply fund our public schools, as you well know. Right now legislators are about to vote on a budget that will help get us toward that goal, and they need to hear from you before they vote!

The Supreme Court was clear: legislators must add an extra $1 billion for our schools this year, in 2018. Saying 'no' to the Court is not an option.

The State House and State Senate both propose to deliver that funding, thanks in part to your calls and emails! But their remaining budgets still aren't aligned.

Their plans are like two pieces of bread -- one with peanut butter and one with jelly. Legislators should simply put them together and pass a capital gains tax that raises enough revenue to provide the additional $1 billion in funding for our schools ordered by the Supreme Court. If we don't find new, progressive revenue, then we risk seeing the new funding vanish if there's a recession.

The two budgets are going to be voted on by the House and Senate in the next few days! Washington's Paramount Duty is asking you to please email or call call your legislators, and spread the word to others.

1. EMAIL Your State Legislators

Send the below email to your State Senator, your two State Representatives (firstname.lastname@leg.wa.gov), as well as important leaders: the State House Speaker, House Majority Leader, House Budget Chair, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Budget Chair. Their emails are provided below.

SUBJECT LINE: $1 Billion Needed in Education Funding; New & Fair Revenue from Capital Gains Now!

BODY OF YOUR EMAIL: The Supreme Court of Washington ruled in November that legislators needed to come up with an extra $1 billion in funding for educator salaries in our public schools. Our students desperately need the teachers, programs, and materials that this funding will make possible.

I am emailing to ask you to support legislation that uses new and progressive revenue, including a capital gains tax, to raise that $1 billion to amply fund all public schools for every child. Thank you for your service to our district and state.

SIGNATURE: Your name, your title and/or affiliation (if applicable), and your address



WA State House and Senate Democratic caucus and budget leads emails:
frank.chopp@leg.wa.gov
pat.sullivan@leg.wa.gov
June.Robinson@leg.wa.gov
sharon.nelson@leg.wa.gov
Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov

2. CALL your state legislators

The legislative session is almost over. That means now is the time to call your legislators and ask them to amply fund Washington’s public schools with new progressive revenue from the proposed capital gains tax. You can click this link to call your legislators directly!
http://paramountduty.org/call-your-legislators/

Please call each of your 3 state legislators at their Olympia offices either using their direct line or this toll-free legislative hotline (open during working hours and the service sends an electronic message to legislators): 1-800-562-6000. Here is the message legislators need to hear:

The Supreme Court of Washington ruled in November that legislators needed to come up with an extra $1 billion in funding for our public schools. Our students desperately need the teachers, programs, and materials that this funding will make possible.

I am calling to ask you to support legislation that uses new and progressive revenue, including a capital gains tax, to raise that $1 billion to amply fund all public schools for every child. Thank you for your service to our district and state.

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of Washington's 1.1 million public school students.

Summer Stinson
Board President
Washington's Paramount Duty

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, please, please force your Democrat legislators to take a floor vote on the record to raise taxes in an election year, especially one when the latest revenue forecast shows revenue up $1.3 billion (that's BILLION, folks) through 2021.

C'mon, demand they take that vote. What could go wrong?

Alfred

Anonymous said...

Yes please. Capital gains tax. We need property to cost even more. (Property is the biggest capital gain for most folks.). And education should be ample, deluxe, with plenty for an army of administrators. Who cares if homeless are literally everywhere, with garbage and human waste at encampments all over town? More property taxes for schools. It’s all about the kids.

More Taxes

Anonymous said...

Well, for me, it kinda is all about the kids - our most precious resource, our literal future. I rather suspect that is what the Washington State Constitution drafters had in mind with those words. I agree there need be limits to public education expectations but I disagree we are anywhere close to brushing up against them. WA does pretty well bang for buck but no one would argue public education in WA is ample and deluxe. In choosing between investment in children's education or services for the homeless, really it's no contest - I choose EDUCATION, and quite likely an "ample, deluxe" education for all would improve the homeless situation.

That said, I favor an income tax (gasp!) over a capital gains tax, but I also recognize that's not gonna happen. After that, I still prefer property taxes - local and relatively steady. I do wish there were a cap (10%) on the increases in any one year.

FNH

Robert Cruickshank said...

Alfred, nothing could go wrong. Democrats have a massive lead in the polls at both the national and the state level. There is no risk that any Democratic legislator will lose their seat this year - especially for voting to tax the rich to fund our schools. If anything that makes them even more likely to hold all their seats and add more to their ranks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Robert, for your steadfastness on this issue. Please be sure to scare the living daylights out of the D legislators/candidates in the 5th, 30th, 47th and 49th if they don't vote for higher taxes despite significant increased revenue.

I appreciate your commitment to polling data conducted by left-leaning organizations and telling people that polling results are the same as elections because polling pre-campaigns is never wrong.

Not all heroes wear capes.

Albert

Robert Cruickshank said...

Alfred, Kristine Reeves and Manka Dhingra both won their elections despite millions of dollars in Republican attack ads claiming those Democrats would support an income tax - and with Kristine Reeves openly and correctly saying she'd back a capital gains tax. Taxing the wealthy and big corporations for public schools is a popular position across the state, even in Eastern Washington. And D legislators/candidates in those particular districts are going to win this year no matter what they say, so they might as well say the right thing for our schools.

alicia said...

If we can create a capital gains tax, I will be one of the people to pay it and I will do it gladly. SPS faces a $100 million + shortfall in 2019 due to the new limits on raising money via levies. My children's school is literally falling apart. Our boiler is from 1917 and the kids had to evacuate last spring for an hour because an 8 foot jet of stream shot out of one of the radiators. That is only one story of many, and definitely not the most dire problem within the school. We can do better. Don't believe the cynics. Making your voice heard is important.. especially for our kids who can't vote.