Tuesday Open Thread

Ah, the first day of summer vacation and, of course, it's overcast.

Checking the PDC for school board candidate contributions, I see this:
District IV: Eden Mack, $6K
District V:  Alec Cooper, $2K; Andre Helmstetter, $835; Zachary DeWolf, $4K and Omar Vasquez, $8K
District VII: no contributions to any candidate

Story in the Times about the possible closure of Fircrest School in Shoreline puts a spotlight on how we serve students with developmental issues.

Here's what I'm seeing from posts (from readers, not the WPD) at the Washington's Paramount Duty Facebook page on budget/McCleary negotiations:

Rumor has it that:
**Teachers will lose bargaining rights around salary and benefits.
**Teachers will lose opportunities for salary advancement for advanced degrees and professional development hours.
**Students will lose voter approved protections on overcrowded classrooms.
**Property owners will see increased property taxes.
**Voters will lose respect for their decision making around additional funding for their local schools.

From Senator Reuven Carlyle:
We appear to be moving toward a state budget and the largest reform of education finance in our state's 128 year history. #waleg Regardless of how it unfolds, I'm grateful for the enormous dedication of budget writers working 7x24 for a responsible agreement. And yet outside of politics, on a deeper, more structural and institutional level, we should all be unsettled that we have come within days of formal floor votes and yet have no public bill, no public data, no public analysis and no visibility into the historic implications on taxpayers and our 295 school districts serving 1.1 million students. We are better than this as a state.
Kinda like the state GOP reps are echoing the actions of the Senate GOP on the health care bill.
From noted public policy expert, Robert Cruickshank:
Hey Seattle! Do you want a massive property tax increase? The legislature is considering doing exactly that to fund public schools, rather than raising taxes on the rich and on big businesses. Negotiations are going down to the wire. If you don't want to make our regressive tax system even worse, and if you don't want to make gentrification and displacement even worse, call or email your legislators now! Tell them "no property tax increase - tax the rich and big business instead." Our Seattle legislators in particular need to hear from us. We must let them know we do not and will not accept using property taxes instead of taxing the rich and big corporations to fund our schools.
I perceive from all this that the GOP has been stalling and stalling and is now pushing Dems to get the budget done to avoid the partial state government shutdown that looms on Friday.  

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Initiative 1550 will deal with the piling on home owners are feeling.

Anonymous said…
Regarding care in the community vs institution... care in the community is cheaper due to massive off-booking of costs.

Medicaid only pays a small portion of the caregiver hours actually needed for safety in the community, and the remaining hours must be made up by family... or is just not provided and severely disabled are often neglected.

Realistic housing costs are not paid by Medicaid and severely disabled are "warehoused" in the worst community nursing homes that do not specialize in care for this population, or homes are gifted by family, or disabled are left homeless. (Homelessness is a huge issue for DD folks, ask ARC).

In the community food is not provided. Severely disabled have to qualify for and manage EBT or food banks, or have someone do this for them? No one gets reimbursed for this in the community, big savings!

Severely disabled are left to their own devices to schedule and attend medical appointments, which only happens if there is a guardian present and actively engaged. in the community this care coordination is not reimbursed or is simply not provided.

Transportation costs increase as medical and therapy appoints are remote in the community... guess what, transportation is Out of a different state budget, so that gets off booked although this cost increases significantly in the community.

Then if the severely disabled are in crisis after not managing to coordinate all preventative care and transportation on their own, they may end up in the ER which certainly doesn't count, or in prison which is a different budget, or shot by police.

See how it is so much cheaper to close institutions and sell land (probably to cronies at a discount for a kick-back).

If you account for all these expenses, communal care like Fircrest begins to look like a real bargain, and should be expanded, as an option for families, or those without family.

Bargain Hunter
Watching said…
The question remains: How much funding will Seattle Public Schools loose.

I am not confident Seattle Public Schools is going to see a lot of state funding. Defunding the state's largest school district would be a mistake.
Watching, the trick the GOP is using is that 1) all districts will get more but how much is a mystery and 2) Seattle especially will not see as much because our property taxes will go up to fund other districts that have lower property values.

Of course, Seattle has many more students to serve.
Anonymous said…
SCOTUS .... and the Blaine Amendment... interesting implications for religious schools.

Is it the beginning of the end for Blaine?

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
That doesn't sound good Dan. I don't want my tax dollars going to pay for religious education.

Dan, I see confusion here. Some anti-voucher people are counting Roberts footnote as a blow against vouchers but others, seeing the minor dissent in the opinion vis a vis the footnote, see a foothold happening. Sadly, I think it is the latter and shame on Roberts.
Anonymous said…
And I don't want my tax dollars supporting immigration of Muslims.

Eat it
Watching said…
Time will tell, Melissa. Still no word on levy caps.
Anonymous said…
Speaking of the PDC, I've been looking for the PDC filings for Washington's Paramount Duty but can't seem to find anything. They're clearly engaged in grassroots lobbying per the definition at the PDC website: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/learn/publications/lobbyist-instructions/grass-roots-lobbying.

Does anyone know the name they've filed under? It's not under any name I can find.

Curious Parent
Why don't you just ask them, Curious Parent? They're pretty accessible.
LEV Supported said…
S. Shore librarian will be reduced to half time. This school receives an extra one million dollars per year. The school received an additional $600K for social and emotional leaning. Other low income schools do not receive this benefit.

I am inclined to support other school low income schools.
Anonymous said…
I thought you were giving up on all things SPS?

Watching too
Curious Parent,

Washington's Paramount Duty has, well, dutifully been filing our L6 forms with the PDC. The PDC website can be a bit byzantine and things are not always easy to find. However, this link should work:


Are there any particular questions I can answer for you, keeping in mind I'm not the one actually compiling or filing?

Also, making the South Shore librarian half-time is appalling, especially when there have been numerous articles written about the inequities of how libraries are (or are not) supported by SPS. And just this week the central staff asked for yet another consultant. Who will say "no" and demand that money go to classrooms rather than consultants?
Anonymous said…
Well Eat It, there is this thing called separation of church and state. Maybe you have heard of it? Secondly, if they allow paying religious schools with tax dollars, then they'll have to allow all religious schools because the government cannot support one religion over another. Be prepared to pay for Muslim, Jewish, and Pagan schools too.


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