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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 2, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Attacking teachers for state’s failure to fully fund schools is nonsense

Those of us who work in the public sector have come to expect ideological attacks and extremist rhetoric from the Freedom Foundation [“How the union trumped voters in Seattle Public Schools budget,” Opinion, June 24]. Let’s set the record straight on some of the wild assertions made by Jami Lund in his guest column.

Conservatives don’t usually pound the pulpit preaching the end of local control over taxpayer funding. Lund completely ignores the Washington state Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling: The state has not been meeting its paramount duty and is underfunding education.

The Seattle School District proposed cutting 50 staff positions out of schools for next year. Educators voted no on their school budgets to demonstrate how unworkable these cuts were. The district had underspent to avoid the cuts. In the end, the district agreed with our analysis and the cuts were rescinded. Responsible management of public funds with engaged oversight by educators keep our school doors open and educators teaching students.

School districts across the state have long used levy dollars to supplement insufficient state funding of basic education. Educators’ salaries are not the problem. The real problem has already been identified by our state’s highest court: lack of funding for public education.

Jonathan Knapp, president of the Seattle Education Association

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, Freedom Foundation, Jami Lund

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