Quality Public Education is a Civil Right
The Washington Constitution is clear: Amply funded quality public education is a civil right for all students.
It is American Education Week. Each day this week, we're highlighting a different section of the Student Bill of Rights, which outlines what full funding and the McCleary decision require – and what our students deserve. Each email will include a link that will allow you to send Gov. Inslee a personal email about the school funding issue you think matters most.
Because of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, K-12 school funding is going to be THE issue this year. Gov. Inslee, who just won re-election, will be releasing his state budget plan in December. The governor’s budget will set the tone for the legislative budget plans that follow, and we need his budget to set a high bar.
Billions in school funding are at stake. As professional educators, we know our state needs to invest in what will help kids the most – smaller class sizes in every grade and competitive pay for school employees.
In contrast, wealthy corporate education reformers want Inslee and the Legislature to pass more misguided policies like tying test scores to evaluations, expanding charter schools and limiting local collective bargaining for school employees. They want to lowball McCleary and shortchange our kids.
- All students have a right to well-maintained schools, current curriculum, safe transportation and adequate school supplies. Students must have access to 21st century technology. Special education, gifted, learning assistance program, and transitional bilingual education for English language learners are essential.
- This requires fully funding a high-quality, well-rounded basic education so all children have equal opportunity to succeed.
Corporate education reformers and other non-educators have a very different definition of full funding – they want more charter schools, test scores tied to evaluations and restrictions on local collective bargaining. We can’t let them get their way – there’s too much at stake!