The Seattle Teachers' strike is over but many remain unsatisfied. I'm still vibrating with ill-feelings and doubts. Not toward the heroic teachers and parents who showed a ferocious unity this past month, but to the political landscape that allows schools to fall so far down in our priorities. We must fix this. The Seattle contract isn't perfect and isn't everything the teachers wanted but it is a hell of a lot better than what the District first countered with. We shouldn't have to get this desperate to accomplish something so necessary and obvious.
The Stranger Magazine suggested implementing a state income tax just like New Jersey did in 1976 which buoyed it's schools. I know Washington State voted down an initiative proposing one in 2010 but we need to try again. Now that we know why an income tax will be so vital and what the consequences of going without one look like, we need to try again.
I can't help thinking: if Washington state is important enough to China--the second largest economy in the world--and its president visited here FIRST before going to our own nation's capital--that's really saying something. Washington state is home to global companies that change the way society lives, works and plays. The citizens and workers we raise and educate quite literally change the world. So please, fulfill the duty and mandate that has been set forth to fully-fund education.
I am a Washington voter, taxpayer, native-born resident (Vancouver, WA), graduate of Washington State University and the parent of a 1st grader in Seattle’s public schools--with another child starting Kindergarten in a few years. I urge the State to take *speedy* and *decisive* action to give all our children the amply funded education they deserve.
Make this day count.