Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, has been misleading voters in the 41st Legislative District over his dedication to our kids’ education and should not be re-elected.
Litzow has demonstrated time and time again that despite his “moderate” politics, funding education has not been a top priority during his time in the senate. He found the time to vote to create tax breaks for aircraft maintenance facilities while ignoring the funding needs of our state’s education system. He served as the chair of the education committee — a position that he uses to superficially boost his credibility — yet once again did not adequately fund public education during the 2016 legislative session as mandated by our state constitution and reinforced by the 2012 McCleary decision.
Working as an independent tutor on the Eastside, I have seen firsthand how Litzow’s neglect of our district’s kids directly affects their learning. Our district includes high schoolers struggling to write two-page essays in AP literature classes, and families forced to find external academic assistance for all four of their children enrolled and floundering in public schools. This is unacceptable. Washington state spends well below the national average per student, meaning our kids in Bellevue, Beaux Arts, Sammamish, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Issaquah and Renton are currently stuck in an underfunded system with larger class sizes, fewer programs to accommodate different learning levels and teachers who are underpaid and under-supported. I will not be re-electing Litzow into office when he has already failed to use his committee positions to improve this situation.
Litzow’s status as an experienced senator in this case works not for him, but against him in the November election.
In contrast, Lisa Wellman’s demonstrated commitment to education as a former public school teacher, and experience as a member of the Washington State Public Works Board support her ability to both represent our district’s values and to make infrastructural improvements to our education system. Litzow does not represent our district’s educational interests and does not deserve our vote.