What’s their beef?

The two most powerful West Seattleites in city government — the mayor and city attorney — have just won a round in their perplexing fight to keep citizens from taxing themselves to give more money to Seattle Public Schools.

I really don’t get it. Yeah, sure, I agree with Hizzoner’s contention that state legislators should allot more $ for education. But will they? Not in my lifetime, I’m afraid. So if they won’t do it, why can’t we? How come these guys want to hold our kids hostage? Let’s see if we can come up with some tortured analogy here. So there’s a starving kid on a streetcorner, and I want to give the poor kid some food. Oh no no, says Hizzoner, you can’t do that, it’s the parents’ responsibility to feed their kid. And while he saunters off to try to find said parents and make them feed the kid – the waif collapses from malnutrition. Listen, mal-education may be less visible than malnutrition, but it’s just as dangerous. And don’t give me the ol’ “Seattle Public Schools mismanages the $ it has now” song and dance … that’s no reason to say we’re going to starve the district and therefore our kids.

If you don’t have kids in local public schools, drop into one someday soon, and get a reality check. If you happen to see new desks or new books, chances are that came from a PTA fundraiser, not tax dollars. $ may not be the solution but it’s a hell of a start. What’s the real agenda behind the mayor’s push here? Does he want things to get worse so he can pull a stunt like LA’s mayor and ride in to try to “save” the district once it’s in flames?

Anyway, the I-87/88 folks say they won’t give up the fight. We gotta go figure out where to send them a check.

6 Replies to "What's their beef?"

  • The House August 30, 2006 (8:39 pm)

    First, let me say that I do not have any children in public school yet (mine aren’t school age yet).

    Second, let me say that I was educated in public schools K-12 and both of my parents were teachers in public schools for 20+ years.

    Third, DON’T SPEND A DIME MORE ON PUBLIC EDUCATION. It’s a very broken system and I would be that if we did investigate to see how bad the funds are mismanaged you would be amazed!

    Why don’t we treat education the same way we treat any other product in the United States? If we privatized education, we would not only get a better product but we due to the natural laws of competition (supply and demand) we would see much more affordable private education.

    I agree walk into a public school and see how little the schools have, how little control teachers have and how out of control our kids are.

    Oppose any inititaves that sink more $$ into a sinking ship.

  • The House August 30, 2006 (8:41 pm)

    yeah, I noticed my grammar error in the 3rd paragraph…have a field day with that!

  • Administrator August 30, 2006 (10:16 pm)

    We’ve been through public and private schools as parents and as students. As parents, we at first heard so much trash talk about the local public schools, we swore we would never let any child of ours within 100 miles of them. Then a variety of circumstances forced a switch from private to public. We are so impressed with the latter — where our family has been well-served by talented, caring people working their hardest to provide a great service despite incredible obstacles and daunting resource challenges — that we are embarrassed and regretful that we wasted time and money on local “independent education.” SPS doesn’t deserve much of the bum rap it’s gotten.

  • frustrated August 31, 2006 (7:38 am)

    Schools are always going to want more money. These initiatives were terrible. Did you actually read them? – not much to them except the money aspect… no real clear plan, no accountability, etc.

    My wife is a teacher – could she use a little more money? of course. Would it be better if her class sizes were reduced? Yup. How about making it so we don’t have to spend our own money on supplies for her classroom? I’d love it!

    However, there is little to no accountability in our school system. The union needs to be ousted and the district needs to run more like a business than a government money-whore.

    Let’s stop spending money on educating illegals.

    Taxpayers of Seattle already carry a large burden. Why is it that we should have to pay even more in levies to provide a BASIC_GOVERNMENT_SERVICE? Instead, why not put some of the less important things our government is spending money on up for a vote and demand that the government fully fund schools, transportation, and public safety before ANYTHING ELSE.

    If they want to spend $10 million on a park and new front entrance to the courthouse, let them come to us and ask for the money.

  • cami August 31, 2006 (8:50 am)

    I’d rather spend more money in our public schools than on a “big dig” for Seattle!

  • Charlie Mas September 8, 2006 (2:55 pm)

    Three points:

    1. Yes, it is true that there is no accountability in public education. That is part of the culture of that industry. The fact that there is no accountability does not mean that people aren’t doing good work or being productive.

    2. I don’t think people appreciate or understand what a great bargain public schools are. While some may point to the $10,000 per student spending as the statewide average and wonder what sort of private education that money could buy, they aren’t considering the costs of special education, compensatory education, and bilingual education that are built into that figure. That may be the statewide average for all students, but the amount spent on a healthy, native English speaking student from a middle class background is probably more like $5,000. Now wonder what sort of private education THAT would buy.

    3. The mayor is only concerned about how Initiative 88 would dictate how the city have to spend a portion of their money. That was the topic of the lawsuit – that city officials were the ones to decide the city budget without any interference from those annoying voters. He doesn’t give a damn about children, or how well the District manages money, or equitable spending and access to education for students from low-income households. For him it is all about turf and authority.

    If your child were drowning and the lifeguard refused to go to the rescue would you dive in and save your child yourself or would stand on principle and refuse to do it because it is the lifeguard’s job? Mayor Nickels is saying that you should let your child drown because it sends the wrong message to the lifeguard if you perform the rescue.

    These are Seattle’s children. If the State won’t do it, then Seattle needs to come to the rescue for our children.

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