By Evan Smith
Incumbent Democratic 1st Legislative District Rep. Luis Moscoso and his two challengers recently sent statements about what the legislature should do to comply with the court order to provide full state support for basic public education.
Moscoso, Republican Ed Barton and Democrat Dave Griffin will meet in the Aug. 5 primary, with the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, qualifying for the Nov. 4 general-election ballot.
The 1st Legislative District includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell, north Kirkland and unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland.
Here are statements on complying with the State Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary decision from the three candidates in the order they will appear on the primary ballot:
1st LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE Pos. 2
Ed Barton (prefers Republican Party)
With two daughters in public elementary school, I am the only candidate whose children’s education will be directly impacted by how we respond to education funding and reforms.
The State should initially approach the McCleary requirements with a levy swap –reducing local school property taxes and substituting an increase in the state property tax levy earmarked for education. This approach holds taxation levels constant, and brings the State into compliance with the Supreme Court decision without immediately impacting other State services. This approach gives all parties time to develop a long-term education strategy without the threat of court sanctions.
Luis Moscoso (prefers Democratic Party)
In 2009 the Legislature redefined Basic Education. It outlined class size, number of administrators, nurses and counselors for elementary, middle and high schools.
For student success and to close the opportunity gap, we must fulfill our promise to fully fund all schools equitably by 2018. The McCleary decision stated that local levies created a system of haves and have-nots, a system that needs to change.
The State must fully fund Basic Education as defined which could also reduce local levies.
The Court should hold the State to its obligation. I look forward to assessing and approving legislation to accomplish this.
Dave Griffin (Prefers Democratic Party)
Partisan politics has brought Olympia to a standstill. I want to take that out of the process and do what the people want us to do. For example, fund education in a responsible and timely manner. Why wait till the last minute, then go into extra sessions and still not get it done, then give themselves a pay raise? The McCleary ruling will hopefully get the politicians to do their jobs. I believe we should strive for a “win-win” for all and not have partisan politics rule the day. That is why I am asking for your vote.