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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 24, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Education: It is all about the money

Although Don Nielsen’s guest column ends with “It’s not about the money,” our Supreme Court in the McCleary decision says that yes, it is about the money [“Halt turnover in school administration to improve education,” Opinion, Oct. 21]. When I began teaching here in the mid-’70s, just over 50 percent of the state budget was for K-12 education.  The portion of the state budget for K-12 education is now little more than 40 percent, with higher education being cut even more.

Although testing is only one way to evaluate school quality, we have in Seattle an urban school system where students generally score at and above the state average.  In addition, in spite of being 47th in the nation in class size, our students throughout the state generally score at and above the national average. We are doing more with less. When the Legislature funds the basic education plan that they put into law, we can do even better.

Many of Nielsen’s suggestions for improving education make some sense, but they are vague.  The difficulty is in coming up with ideas that really are “sustainable,” and can be proven to lead to improvement.  A “good education” is an evolving goal, and constant attention and effort, rather than silver bullets, are necessary.

Mary Wallon, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, K-12, Mary Wallon

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