Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Simple majority victory: close but sweet

From the Executive Director: We're pleased this morning to welcome a new contributor and staff member, Kathleen Reynolds, to the Northwest Progressive Institute. This is her first post - expect many more to come!

It looked like a discouraging defeat for Washington’s schools on November 6th, but a week later, things turned around for the constitutional amendment to allow simple majorities to pass school levies.

EHJR 4204 eventually eked out a win and the days of failing a school levy with 59% voter support are over. The minority can’t prevent the majority from making common sense investments in their schools anymore.

Fairness is the big winner here.

What makes this victory so important? Why have the Washington State PTA and teachers unions worked on this issue for over 20 years? Kids from the Bethel School District would tell you that it’s because money lost from failed levies have cost their schools: teachers, desks, textbooks and librarians.

They are tired of sharing a desk and a textbook with another student and a librarian with another school. Is this the best we can give Washington’s kids?

The passage of simple majority is the first step on the path to reforming education funding in Washington. Its passage sends our legislators the message that we are ready for change. We’re not willing to settle for being 42nd in the country in per student funding. As the Governor said:
The passage of the simple majority ballot measure is a big victory for our children and for schools in our state. I am proud the voters have made the education of Washington 's children a priority.
Now it is time to update our state education funding formula, crafted decades ago and now outdated. Simple majority may be getting the ball rolling to put those teachers, desks and books back into the classrooms, but Washington can’t wait another 20 years for the next victory.


Blogger Rick Hegdahl said...

Welcome to the fray! Hope you will continue to be a contributor here.

November 17, 2007 10:09 AM  

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