That’s Incredible

Remember Initiative 884 – The attempt to raise the sales tax by a billion dollars a year to fund education that we soundly defeated on the ballot?

That initiative was run by the League of Education Voters. This group also ran the successful I-732 and I-728 initiatives that increased classroom spending and gave COLAs to teachers. Now that an education initiative that demands accountability of education funding has been proposed, it looks like the group has changed it’s tune. Here is their response to the First Class Education Initiative that was recently filed. "Lisa Macfarlane, president of the League of Education Voters, is troubled by the initiative’s "false promise" that children will perform better academically if the state just redistributes its resources. She points to a recent analysis by Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services, which found no definitive link between higher classroom spending and higher achievement. The initiative is "a gimmick," she said. "It doesn’t make any sense." (Seattle P-I, 1,25,2006)

That’s an incredible statement coming from a group that consistently lobbies for higher education spending.

What the FCE initiative would do is mandate that 65% of education funding be dedicated to the classroom with teacher salaries included in the formula. The League thinks it’s a "gimmick" to say that our education taxes should go to programs that directly affect students? What could be a higher priority than that? At the very least, this initiative would demand open accountability and prioritizing of school budgets so real needs for additional dollars could be identified. At best, we could target existing dollars into programs that really work.

When I see statements like this, all I can do is thank you again for all your hard work in defeating I-884.