In January 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the State of Washington was violating the constitutional rights of children by failing to live up to its “paramount duty” to amply fund the education of all K-12 students. The Court continues to maintain this position, and its attendant $100,000 per day fine, despite attempts by legislators to address the funding problem in 2017.
The revenue source insisted upon by Republicans, who held the majority in the 2017 legislature, was increased property taxes, which is why so many of us will see a property tax increase of $2000 or more this year.
The school levies that are currently before voters are a school district matter and have no connection to the decisions that were and are being made in Olympia.
It’s fair for us to have a conversation about how best to pay for the services that our state constitution requires, but to punish local schools, teachers and the long-term interests of our community by refusing to replace existing levies is shortsighted and places the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who are least responsible for the situation.