You should be. K-12 could take a serious blow. Call the legislative hotline, 1-800-562-6000. Tell them, “K-12 education is the state’s paramount duty. Cutting days means less for kids. It’s inequitable and unstable.”
CONTEXT: The idea to cut four school days is bad for kids, and Washington State PTA strongly opposes it.
• It hurts our most vulnerable, denying them access to federal food programs and essential services, and adding to child-care costs when parents can least afford it.
• It creates a legal mess with long-term consequences.
• It further delays college- and career-aligned graduation requirements.
• It puts even more pressure on unstable levies and uncertain local effort assistance.
Washington State PTA advocates for children’s well-being and education and is reviewing all revenue options. Programs that support children and families are on the line, but the state can’t raid basic education to fund them. All school funding is driven by the number of days in the school year. If the state cuts days, it cuts all allocations. If legislators start arbitrarily changing the school year, schools won’t be able predict their allocations from year to year. A four-day loss means more cuts to busing, maintenance, supplies – and another 2.2 percent cut in salary allocations that must be negotiated with staff (following up on pay cuts made or somehow absorbed this year). Hundreds of contracts will need to be re-opened.
And the kicker? To do this the state has to redefine “basic education” and argue kids don’t need that time in school. This when all the evidence tells us otherwise. Join Washington State PTA’s Action e-List
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WHERE WE STAND:
Washington State PTA advocates for the well-being and education of all children. In this special budget-cutting session we are asking legislators to prioritize the Program of Basic Education and Apple Health for Children. We are extremely concerned about critical cuts to levy equalization and programs that support children and their families; we urge legislators to review all revenue options.
Washington State PTA supports tax policies that are fair and equitable and that provide stable, adequate revenues for public education and programs that benefit youth. We do not support expansion of gambling.
Amply funding education for all children is the state’s paramount duty, and yet nearly $3 billion has been cut from K-12 schools in the last three years. In all, state spending has been cut $10.5 billion in three years. The largest percentage – 26 percent — of that came from K-12; another 19 percent came from cuts to state and K-12 employee compensation.
Some reading for you: Cuts hit hard at education, health care, state economies
Ramona Hattendorf, Government Relations Coordinator, Washington State PTA, www.wastatepta.org