Author Archives: Lmullen

Put brakes on plan to pay for Transportation with General Fund dollars

Education is the state’s paramount duty and deserves the same urgent attention the Legislature is giving transportation.

Today, the Senate Republicans announced their latest proposal for a new transportation revenue package, which includes a proposal to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from the general fund at the expense of public education and our students.
The Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature to amply fund K-12 education by 2018. Reducing revenue available for education is a step backwards and sets a terrible precedent.

Educators across the state understand the need for a transportation system that meets the needs of its citizens and allows our state to be competitive in the global marketplace. But, funding transportation should never be at the cost of meeting our paramount duty – the education of our students. Washington students have a constitutional right to a well-funded education system and the opportunity to succeed. Our students deserve it – and this is our ultimate key to Washington’s economic success and quality of life.

Transportation has a constitutionally protected funding source in the gas tax. Diverting sales taxes or moving other revenue from the state general fund is an unnecessary and short-term gimmick that is unsustainable unless offset with other tax increases or the elimination of tax loopholes. The Legislature already is drastically underfunding education, and the Supreme Court has directed the Legislature to submit a plan by April 30th that will outline how it will amply fund K-12 education by 2018. Reducing revenue available for education is a step backwards.

Many argue that a special session for Boeing was important and necessary. Many also argue that a transportation package is important and necessary. We believe that our paramount duty – the education of our students – is most important. The Supreme Court expects the Legislature to show a similar sense of urgency for the funding of our schools. In the latest response to the Legislature, the Supreme Court wrote “The need for immediate action could not be more apparent.” The WEA supports transportation improvement – but not at the expense of public education or our students.

Tell Senate Republicans to put the brakes on this idea.

WEA supports SEA

Mary Lindquist, President of WEA, sent this message to SEA members today in support of the MAP boycott and rally being held this afternoon. On behalf of our 82,000 members, I congratulate you and your colleagues for bringing attention to the shortcomings of the MAP test as used by Seattle Public Schools. The boycott byContinue Reading

Vote – and Verify

Many counties in Washington allow you to check to see if you ballot has been received and your signature verified. It’s easy, from the Secretary of State’s website, you just enter in your name and birthdate. The page will forward you to your county elections office. From there follow the prompts to your online ballotContinue Reading

Olympia Ain’t Vegas

News Flash! What happens in Olympia doesn’t stay in Olympia. In 2013, we expect the legislature will address several issues that hit us in the classroom, at home and with our families. Take a look: Education funding Class size Compensation Teacher evaluation and student test scores Health care More and more, what happens in OlympiaContinue Reading

Best candidate quote so far – Dawn Morrell, LD 25

Several years ago, one of the state’s newspapers carried legislator quotes following a particularly difficult session in Olympia. Some quotes were insightful, some were poignant and others reflected just how worn out folks were after trying to get the last ribbon on the proverbial package. This morning, Dawn Morrell‘s words inspired us with one ofContinue Reading