Greetings, [ LEGISLATOR NAME ] –
Our Legislature promised the Court it would develop a plan to amply fund public education in accordance with our constitutional obligation to all children by the end of the 2017 legislative session. The plan put forth at the end of the third and final special session of 2017, EHB 2242, increases property taxes by hundreds of dollars in some districts and caps levies statewide, while leaving many districts with less funding for critical, basic educational programs and services:
- Tacoma Public Schools reports its district that serves 30,000 children “…would have a better financial future if the Legislature had not made any changes in the funding formula for education.”
- Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent and President of Washington Association of School Administrators Steve Webb says, “…the new finance system inadequately addresses the essential principle of the McCleary order—ample funding.”
- Seattle Public Schools, the largest school district in the state, anticipates $92 less per pupil by 2020 under 2242, and SPS Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland insists, “The budget put forward by the Legislature does not achieve the state’s paramount duty to fully fund education.”
- Superintendents of Kelso and Longview School Districts are concerned 2242 will limit their ability to attract teachers to their districts.
- Chimacum School District, the school district in which the McCleary family resides, will lose a million dollars from its budget under 2242.
How does a plan that provides many of our state’s school districts with less funding than they had previously fulfill the McCleary mandate to amply fund basic education for every child?
While we await a ruling from the Supreme Court of Washington on the McCleary case in November, I hope you acknowledge that EHB 2242 does not amply fund basic education as defined by the Quality Education Council, and you commit to working with your colleagues to repair the damaging effects of 2242 in the 2018 short session.
I encourage you to develop a solution that identifies new and progressive revenue that genuinely amply funds all public schools for every child, and does not cut vital social services that support the whole child.
Thank you for your service to our district and state.
[ YOUR NAME ]
[ LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT ] Legislative District
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