Alfred Barker 
Member since Apr 8, 2016


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Re: “A Student and a Half

By our state’s constitution; students are guaranteed a basic education. This insures that all citizens of the state of Washington need not fear for the future abilities of children.
SECTION 1 PREAMBLE.
It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.
SECTION 2 PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools. The public school system shall include common schools, and such high schools, normal schools, and technical schools as may hereafter be established. But the entire revenue derived from the common school fund and the state tax for common schools shall be exclusively applied to the support of the common schools.
This definition of basic education has shifted. We, in the city of Spokane, have a situation where there are not enough books for each student, teachers are out of pocket for basic supplies, ESL teachers are in a room with 13 different languages and an interpreter for three or four of those dialects. Our teachers felt so strongly about the conditions that, in a city where 20-30,000 families use the food band each month to offset the shortfall in their income, the instructors and support staff elected to walk out, the day before Labor Day, to receive an overdue COLA. This left those families in need in the position of jeopardizing their relationship with their employer, or losing their jobs. We are mostly a blue collar town, and that level of employment cannot just call in sick for a daycare issue, it does not work that way.
If you exercise that choice your employer can and will fire you, their business in not going to wait for you to figure out how to manage your children’s needs. I am a blue collar worker, and the talk on site is how could these entitled people do this to us when all we have done is vote for levies at each election? Our educators have lost sight of who works for whom.
We have museum quality European style buildings being constructed, a doctoral level biology lab, running start programs for college credit, home school outreach schools, advanced placement campuses, honors classes, skills centers, rubber stamp credit retrieval online courses, and only one of these qualifies as basic ample education. The doctoral level lab exists in a building with 40% free and reduced lunches, inadequate access to texts for each student, and no provision for the replacement of the existing instructor with anything but a graduate level teacher.
As a tax payer I am incensed that these level of expenditures have gone unchecked. When contracts come around the teachers should get whatever they request except: any instructional public funding for any courses outside the scope of basic ample education, tenure, the suborning and sweeping under the rug of predatory pedophiles allowing them to just switch states or regions without reciprocity of charges in their permeant file (this reeks of the Catholic church 15 years ago), decreased consideration of outside jobs that conflict with their contractual duties (teachers calling in sick the first week of school, because it interferes with the individuals professional mountain bike racing schedule, adding an extra week prior to spring break for a two week cruise, etc.), or hiring of direct relatives already employed in the system. This profession used to be a calling not club over-fed.
Of course those are just modest proposals, a simpler solution is to end the levy system and force districts to budget their needs to meet the available monetary resources allocated by the state.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alfred Barker on 04/08/2016 at 2:47 PM

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