This just in:
Tonight, February 9th, the 37th Legislative District, home to Representatives Pettigrew who sponsored the mayoral control bill and Representative Santos who sponsored a bill along with Pettigrew to split the school district in half along racial lines, passed a resolution unanimously opposing mayoral control of public education.
Hey Pettigrew, maybe you should start listening to your constituents rather than your moneyed donors.
Here is the resolution:
Resolution to Oppose and Reject HB 1497 and any other Proposals to Appoint School Board Members.
Whereas; Washington State Representative Eric Pettigrew (D) proposed House Bill 1497 . HB1497 would allow for two out of seven school board directors- or approximately 30%- of Seattle’s Public School board to be appointed by the mayor.
Whereas; A citizen’s right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy and should not be dismantled at federal, state or local levels. The right to vote should never be diminished. Citizens have a right to elect their representatives; and “Most researchers agree on one negative consequence — when mayors take charge of public schools, the role of parents and the community, especially among minority groups, can be marginalized and can further compromise democratic control of schools” (Harvard, 2006; Moscovitch et al., 2010; Hess, 2003, 2011). – See more at: http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Policies/Mayoral-involvement-in-urban-schools-At-aglance#sthash.IYVRT0X3.ATrXAIvd.dpuf
Whereas; There is no guarantee a political appointment will be based on an expertise in education or commitment to public education. Appointees may support a political agenda and there is no guarantee an appointee has a commitment to public schools. Appointed boards are not accountable to the voting public and they are under no obligation to respond to parent concerns, policies and practices.
Whereas, The City of Seattle does not have the capacity, jurisdiction or expertise to manage public education.
The city is grappling with unresolved challenges of police reform, recrudescence of crime and gun violence, transportation – including the escalating costs and uncertain future of the Deep Bore Tunnel (BERTHA), homelessness, unaffordable housing and infrastructure to meet the needs of a rapidly growing city. The city has unresolved issues and should not take on education.
Whereas; The research indicates that partnerships between cities and school districts work better than mayoral appointments to the board (Research from Professor Tom Alsbury, Seattle Pacific University)
Whereas, Mayoral control in other cities in the nation have resulted in proliferation of charter schools and other highly controversial initiatives. Seattle voters did not approve charter schools.
Whereas, Mayoral control of education in other cities has become highly controversial. In Chicago, hundreds of citizens have rallied to demand restoration of elected school boards. In Chicago, the opportunity gap has expanded since the school board was appointed. The number of appointed and mayoral controlled boards in urban cities have been in decline because they have not served citizens.
Whereas, House Bill 1497 does not provide a mechanism to recall appointed school board directors or provide any other measure of accountability to the public.
Whereas; Mayoral control of education is a distraction from fully funding education via McCleary.
Whereas, Former US Assistant Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch: “Anyone who looks to mayoral control of urban schools as a panacea will be disappointed.
Therefore, be it resolved that the 37th Legislative District of the Washington State Democratic Party hereby opposes and rejects HB 1497 and any other proposals to appoint school board members.