JOIN US IN OLYMPIA, THIS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH, TO STOP THE PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILL 2367—POSSIBLY THE MOST HARMFUL EDUCATION BILL OF THE LAST DECADE!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Please do one or more of the following:
1) Join us in Olympia to testify and protest against HB 2367 on Friday, February 19, at 1:00 PM. (Please look into starting or joining a carpool.)
2) Bring your fellow parents, friends, neighbors or anyone else who wants to protect our public schools and insure that public education dollars aren’t diverted into private business accounts. 3) Sign up to testify, online, or in Olympia, as early as possible, prior to the hearing.
4) Make signs, hold signs and distribute signs to other parents, students and taxpayers.
5) Bring your own kids AND as many public school kids as you can, particularly if they like making signs, holding up signs and might want to testify on behalf of their school, and their fellow students, against this legislation.
6) Contact your legislators and urge them to Vote Against House Bill 2367 or any similar “charter fix bill.”
(Here’s one possible message: How could the legislature NOT fully fund our public schools for more than 4 years since the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, ordering you to do so? AND how could you NOW push HB 2367, a bill that will FURTHER defund our schools and give our tax dollars to charters—that are unconstitutional in our state—and after 25 years have provided no evidence that they do a “better job” than our public schools?) Questions or more information? Please visit Washington Voters For Public Education online.
Website: WashingtonVotersForPublicEducation.com Phone: 425-296-8130
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HOUSE BILL 2367
Q: Why do parents, taxpayers and voters need to come to Olympia on Friday, February 19th?
A: To protest against House Bill 2367, or simply HB 2367.
Q: What is House Bill 2367? A: House Bill 2367 is the State House Version of a very bad State Senate Bill that passed that chamber in January.
Q: What would happen if House Bill 2367 passes and become law?
A: House Bill 2367 would take existing public school funds and hand them over to private businesses that manage and operate charters. It would also open the door to many more charters in our state, further draining our already underfunded public schools.
Q: What would be bad about House Bill 2367 becoming law?
A: If House Bill 2367 became law, the consequences would be serious and widespread. It would likely have a very negative impact upon every school district in Washington and might either force even more cuts in our schools and/or significant increases in property taxes, which would increase the housing costs of both renters and owners.
Q: Didn’t our state supreme court declare charters unconstitutional? How can charters operate in our state if they are against the law?
A: House Bill 2367 attempts an “end run” around our the recent supreme court ruling. It seeks to find new ways to use public funds for these businesses known as charters. If HB 2367 were to pass, it would undoubtedly end up in court again, costing all taxpayers even more time and money, further depleting desperately needed school funds even further.
Q: Beyond defunding our public schools, what else is wrong with legalizing charters?
A: In addition to further decreasing the funds for public schools, there are other important reasons for strongly opposing charters, and the bill that would legalize them, HB 2367. In addition to reducing public school funding, here are just five more of the many reasons why people oppose charters:
- Charters are unaccountable to any elected body for how they operate and spend our tax dollars.
- Charters have an extensive record of widespread corruption in every state where they’ve been allowed to operate.
- Unlike public schools, charters use our tax dollars for marketing, sales and advertising, in an effort to draw students from local, neighborhood schools and convince parents that their “product” is “superior” to public education.
- There are few, if any, controls or guidelines on how charters pay their employees. They often pay their executives as much as $350,000 to $550,000 per year while paying their teachers—some of whom only have five weeks (5 weeks) of “teacher training” and no state teaching certification—as little as $19,000 annually.
- Like any new business, once charters take hold in a state, they always try to expand as rapidly as possible, using taxpayer dollars to hire paid lobbyists and distribute “campaign contributions” in an effort to gain support from legislators.
Q: Why is it important for us to be in Olympia, this Friday, February 19th?
A: We need to be in Olympia to present a show of force on behalf of parents, students, taxpayers, educators and every other resident of Washington who believes in fully funding our public schools and not allowing our already underfunded schools to be further underfunded by bills like HB 2367!
Q: Why do we need to produce a Big Crowd?
A: Right now, legislators are under the misguided impression that very few, if any, Washington voters care about the full funding of our schools. Many legislators also believe that there is little opposition to bills like HB 2367 that would take money from our public schools and deposit in the private accounts of charters. We need to send them a direct message that there is widespread opposition to this and similar bills and that there will be consequences for them on Election Day if they vote against the needs of our public schools.
Q: But can’t we make our opposition to HB 2367 clear without actually coming to Olympia?
A: Yes, but the backers of HB 2367 will undoubtedly be there in very large numbers. Like it or not, visual shows of support have great power—both for the legislators who see such crowds AND for the media that will transmit images and impressions to the general public. If we fail to show up, or only show up in small, scattered numbers, the odds of HB 2367 passing are significantly better. If we really want to stop HB 2367—or any legislation like it—it is imperative that every single one of us come to Olympia, and bring everyone that we can.
Q: Are there any other reasons why showing up in person is better than just calling or emailing our legislators and governor?
A: Nothing makes as powerful and definitive a statement as a very, very large contingent of parents, students, taxpayers and other state residents, packing the hearing room, offices and hallways of the state legislature, making their demands known to their elected officials. It’s up to us to let our legislators—and Governor Jay Inslee—-know, particularly in an election year, that we consider the defeat of HB 2367 to be absolutely crucial and that we consider this bill a real threat to our already underfinanced public schools.
Our presence at the state capitol in large numbers sends a clear message to our legislators and governor that we’re assertive, aware and active—and we expect them to honor and respect our demands for fully funded public schools and no diversion of taxpayer funds to charters. A large crowd of spirited, articulate, and determined taxpayers, students and parents will put steel in the spine of our legislators and vastly raise the odds that they’ll do the right thing and veto this legislation, particularly if our presence makes clear that we represent the majority opinion in this state. If too few of us show up, it will send a message—fair or not—that the majority might rest with the backers of HB 2367, who are well-funded, well-organized and will undoubtedly be out in very large numbers.
Q: What about my kids? Should I bring them too?
A: Yes! Absolutely. Please bring your children, especially if they are K-12 students. Bringing them to Olympia on this day is an education in itself; they should be taught about this issue, how our government works, and how we can influence our elected officials to do the right thing. The proponents of HB 2367 are experts in knowing how to bring kids to tell their story and to use the presence of school aged children to push their side of the story. We need to balance their attempts to “spin” the narrative and make sure that our kids—and our need for fully funded public schools—carries the day. Also, if your child is willing and able, we strongly encourage she or he signing up to read their statement during the committee hearing for HB 2367. The legislators need to hear that the majority of kids want full funding for our schools and are opposed to any attempts to divert their parent’s hard-earned tax dollars into private hands that are actively working against our public schools.
Questions or more information?
Please visit Washington Voters For Public Education online.
Website: WashingtonVotersForPublicEducation.com Phone: 425-296-8130