I'm absolutely appalled and befuddled by Rep. John Lovick’s lengthy piece of political posturing published here in the Woodinville Weekly. He seems to think our education financing is flawed ... which it is He also believes our state education funding segregates students by class and race too. … which it does. So why am I steamed? He intones the current system is not fair because us “wealthy” Districts pass our levies. That’s not fair he says because every child deserves an excellent education, not just those in our District.
Phooey on Rep. Lovick; he’s implying we are getting “excellence” in education because we pass and pay for our levies when it’s actually his responsibility to fund education. This is like saying we shouldn’t bail out our lifeboat so we can all be underwater together. Our levy dollars are patching together the sinking education ship that he and his House of Representatives have bashed into the rocks so egregiously that our State Supreme Court is holding him in contempt.
Our state legislators have all but killed off excellence in education because they are too chicken to do the right thing, which is dramatically increase education funding (a liberal idea) in our state while bringing progressive ideas such as discussing teacher performance reviews (a conservative idea) and breaking away from the educational publishing industry to the electronic information based world that predominates (an intelligent idea.) Rep. Lovick is right about one thing, this is not a Republican or Democratic problem, this is our problem. The solutions being laid out in Olympia are to punish those Districts where parents value education. We had better take notice of that. He cites how the state has increased education by 4 billion dollars. He’s either pandering to us readers or he seriously needs to get a clue, our state funding of education is paltry compared to better performing states. He cites class/race financing flaws in our public education spending when the reality is the State system of financing education is completely flawed.
The gall of Rep. Lovick to blame us for passing levies to fix the Legislature’s lack of action is such an affront that I must remind voters that he is a Democrat and it’s our Republican legislators who are actually doing everything they can to sink the public education ship. Why? Because keeping education afloat per the State Supreme Court Ruling is going to take money, lots of money and our Republicans (and most Democrats) don’t want to ... erm ... cough ... raise taxes. Wait, I should point out the Republicans do have a fix of their own. Their plan is to elect new anti-education Supreme Court Justices this fall so the ruling can be overturned. I’m not kidding. Really, that’s their plan.
Now comes the slap in the face, Rep. Lovick and the Legislature are about to punish our school district. They’ve purposely lowered the amount we can raise via these levies. This is called the “levy lid” with changes coming to it in 2018. This is something they did to specifically hurt our children. Why? And I am not joking when I write this, they did this to make us angry. They thought hurting our children with the levy cliff would finally get the Legislature as a whole to act responsibly. Instead of raising up the ship, they are handcuffing us from doing any more bailing so we all can drown in their failure.
Rep. Lovick finished his op-ed with “Every child deserves a great education. Let’s work together to give them exactly that.” I wonder who he was writing that to. Us, the citizens of Northshore who he just whacked with the levy lid! Why was this in the Woodinville Weekly? I’d like to think we elected our Representatives to work together for us and in this case for our children. That is supposed to happen in Olympia not in Woodinville. I’m sorry sir, you have been elected to do a job. This is not about class and race, this is about a responsibility you have to all of us. Bring us excellence in education that you feel all children deserve.
Northshore School District Parents Union (on Facebook)
Back in March, Larry Francois gave notice to the school board that he was leaving as superintendent of Northshore School District. With a very short time line, there was a lot of pressure from the top administrators to hire an internal interim candidate. Parents in the district are used to sitting on the sidelines without much of a voice. Mindie Wirth, PTSA Council Leader and State Senate candidate advocated for parents, staff and community members to have a voice in the Superintendent hiring process. Wirth penned an article, picked up by a local education blog, which was instrumental in inspiring the local community to write the school board members and voice their concerns regarding the superintendent search process. It was Wirth’s impassioned involvement which led the NSD board to do a thoughtful and thorough national superintendent search. Mindie’s passion and leadership for education make her the right choice for state senate.