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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Put education before sports

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Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

The Safeco Field faithful stand and cheer Brandon Morrow as he closes out the ninth inning against Tampa Bay last week.

Yes to 1 percent tax on Mariner revenue

Editor, The Times:

Hooray for Christine Johnson-Duell! She has come up with a reasonable means to help fund education through a 1 percent tax on sports [“Time to put education ahead of sports,” Opinion, guest commentary, April 27].

Most of our legislators seem to think that sports are more important than education. In this time of economic distress, it seems that the 1 percent tax is a great idea. Johnson-Duell is so right on about the alarming habit of the Legislature ignoring voter mandates and doing what they want despite what the majority votes.

I fail to understand the Legislature’s thinking in passing the megabillion-dollar tunnel and cutting the education budget to the barest of bones. We, the voters, have said no to a tunnel and again we will have to sit back and take it while our schools continue to suffer.

I say let’s tax those sports teams that have been receiving welfare for the rich for many years.

— Nancy Dickerson, Seattle

Funding not tied to better education

I’ll put aside the fact that Christine Johnson-Duell’s premise is flawed — no state money has gone to Safeco Field that might have been used elsewhere, such as education.

She acknowledged in her guest commentary that the stadium is revenue-positive for local and state government, not to mention local businesses. The real issue is that there is no correlation between dollars spent and the success of the educational process. Check the funding levels in Washington, D.C., against results.

Certainly, teachers want to make more money and have smaller class sizes. Why not? But at the end of the day, these likely won’t improve education in some schools.

Real education improvement will only occur when the issues raised in Walter Backstrom’s excellent piece in the April 27 Tacoma News Tribune (also in the April 25 Federal Way Mirror), “Faith can elevate education levels for blacks,” are honestly dealt with.

The issues Backstrom confronts in his article, including parents who don’t care, teachers who can’t teach, poverty, drugs, no fathers and no positive role models, and others, are unlikely to be resolved through increased education funding.

I believe his message applies wherever these issues arise. A different type of community problem-solving will likely be necessary and I suspect money is the least critical resource.

— Darrell Fisk, Federal Way

Comments | More in Education, Sports, Washington Legislature

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