Monday, August 27, 2012

Stop Making (Non) Sense

The hot weather is gone so I can't imagine what it is affecting the brains of the editorial board at the Seattle Times. 

Their latest editorial about the State starting negotiations with the Washington Federation of Sate Employees soon. 

They give recent history:

Twice now they have done this. In September 2008, they agreed to pay raises in the two-year contract. In the midst of the worst financial crisis in 75 years, Gregoire approved them and within weeks the state's Office of Financial Management (OFM) said the contracts were impossible. The state had to go back and ask that the raises be canceled. The union sued, lost, and agreed to cancel the raises.

In 2010, deals were reached in October; a month later the Office of Financial Management declared them to be infeasible. Gregoire asked that the employee share of health-insurance premiums, set in the contract at 12 percent, be increased to 26 percent, which was the average for family coverage among private employers at the time. 

But a contract had been signed, putting her in a poor bargaining position. She settled for a 15 percent employee share, plus a 3 percent pay cut that is due to expire June 30. 

But then there is this:

The Legislature and governor have been ordered by the Washington Supreme Court to increase state support of K-12 public schools. In a 21st-century economy, the state needs to do more than this. It needs to increase support of schooling from age 3 to 23, and it needs to begin doing this in the legislative session of 2013.  

The state's labor negotiators have to be tough. The reason is not any blame cast upon state employees. It is simply that the state must make a down payment on its obligation to education, and it has to have the money to do it with.

So I see a disconnect.  The Times says, basically, that the State has the obligation to fully fund education and is mandated by both the Constitution and the realities of the time we live in to give students the learning they need to succeed.

And yet they want charter schools.

The money for charters would be NEW spending.  We have no new money so the first question is; where would that money come from?  

Two, understand that this talk of "money follows students" is true except that's from existing school to existing school.  These are new schools so yes, the pot of money gets thinned as more schools come online.  (We could get additional students overall into K-12 ed in the state but that is unlikely as private schools have held their share for decades even into the recession.)

Three, most of the new spending for charters is for administration and a large chunk is for administration at the state level.  Any new money should go into the classroom.  

I don't get it.


Anonymous said...

You are operating under the assumption that the Blethen Times editorial board has a brain. Given the past editorial writings and endorsements from them Times, I tend to agree with The Stranger/Slog that the board is lacking that vital organ which would provide them with the ability for logical and coherent thought.
Now is when I really miss the PI.


Anonymous said...

The day Varner is no longer writing the Education editorials, there will be some hope of sanity from that page. Until then, no sense trying to make sense. The woman calls an ed reformer, then spouts 'her' idea for her next deadline. Layer that with her never-evolving 'the District doesn't do justice for African-Americans' point of view and it is just a lost cause dealing with her.

The reason we cannot have a reasonable discussion in this town around education begins and ends with her position on the editorial board. At least that's what I've come to believe.

I read her editorials while looking to this blog and the national media to add some perspective to her one-note ed reform blather.


Unknown said...

You have to read the Seattle Times editorials as sensible Soviets used to read Pravda.

Propagandists don't intend to make sense, if by making sense you mean saying things that relate to the world that actually exists. Propagandists have only in view the reality they want the public to believe. Everything else gets airbrushed out.