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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 7, 2014 at 7:04 AM

McCleary decision: State needs to fix tax system to properly fund education

The Seattle Times’ editorial recounts the dismal outcomes of Washington’s public education system, but recommends the same old solution: let the Legislature do its work [“Heed former governors on McCleary education case,” Opinion, Aug. 5]. It should be clear after 40 years of litigation that mushing around with the current system isn’t going to change anything.

No rocket science is needed here: Washington’s spending per pupil is below the national average because Washington’ taxes per capita are below the national average. It should surprise no one that our educational outcomes are below the national average.

The real work the Legislature needs to do is either to give the voters a constitutional amendment that gets that pesky “paramount duty” standard out of the constitution — breaking the promise the framers made — or to bring Washington’s tax levels up to the level needed to improve educational outcomes for our children. Failing legislative actions of those kinds, we’re left with Einstein’s definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

William R. Andersen, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, McCleary decision, state Constitution

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