A good public budget plans for today's priorities, for future needs, and for the unexpected -- and taxes allow a community to pay for the public goods and services for which it has planned. The latest Eyman Initiative, I-1366 (which just squeaked by with a 51% yes vote) could threaten all of that -- but only if we let it.
Two-thirds of all seniors rely on Social Security for the majority of their income. But there won't be a cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security checks next year, even though data show their costs are rising. There's a fix ready to go -- will Congress act in time to implement it?
We complain a lot about our elections and the various candidates for office. Then we complain about lack of voter turnout in elections. Then we complain about people not registering to vote. We may not be able to immediately fix the first and second complaints, but we could get everyone registered to vote.
Ensuring every child has equal access to the ladder of opportunity, from pre-school through higher education, is the most important work of our state government. And if our elected leaders aren't up to that task, then it falls to us, the voters, to make sure it happens.
Do small classes only make sense for elementary kids? Perhaps we can take a lesson from the private school where the elite send their kids — Lakeside School in Seattle. The average class size for this middle school and high school: 16. Average class size in our public high schools: 30. Here is a lesson: If you want to neglect students, increase drop-outs and have high school be the final stop in education, then increase class size.
The legislature says it supports K-12 education. But as citizens, and for the sake of our kids and our future, we should say: “Show me the money.”
Legislative leaders think they can just muddle through and do a minimal amount to meet the paramount duty for the education of all children. They want to manage the fiscal crisis. We need to vanquish it.
Winning the right to vote was a landmark achievement, but it was never the only goal of women activists and their male allies. And we aren’t going to get the rest of the way to equality by politely waiting around for a convenient time when it won’t interfere with corporate profits or the priorities of male leaders.
It didn’t take long before the Legislature stopped its crowing about how it funded K-12 education and admitted that it was far from the mandates of the State Supreme Court for basic education. How is that? It starts with Stephanie and Matthew McCleary, parents of two public school kids on the Olympic Peninsula.
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