State must return to funding schools

At a time when local school officials are discussing cutting teachers and student programs, let’s take a look at the real problem: a lack of adequate state funding for public schools.

The current funding trend is the opposite direction needed for the future of Washington’s public schools. Our state spends less money today on public education than it did over 10 years ago. Not a little less, but $548 less per student. Because we have not kept pace, we have $2 billion less going into our schools than if we had kept pace.

Washington’s public schools were 50.4 percent of the state budget 25 years ago. Now we are at 42.1 percent of the state budget. If you were to adjust for regional cost differences, Washington is 42nd in education spending per student.

It’s time that we look at the real problem. It’s time we ask the Legislature to follow our state Constitution and provide for their “paramount duty,” which is public education.

Legislators need to hear from us. It’s our duty to let them know that public education is our priority as well.

KIM MEAD, President

Everett Education Association/

United Teachers of Everett

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