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Here at the temporary Olympia branch of TRAP Headquarters, nothing makes our eyes roll like politicians giving lectures on the value of compromise and the McCleary decision.
What Governor Inslee and House Speaker Frank Chopp fail to grasp is that students, parents, and teachers have been compromising for years – and our patience is running out.
Preaching compromise works best when you walk your talk. Do Inslee’s and Chopp’s lectures on compromise include corporate tax breaks or pleasing lobbyists?
Let’s take a look at the evidence.
Since September of 2012, the Legislature has been in contempt of the State Supreme Court, refusing to do their Constitutionally mandated job of fully funding public education.
Did Inslee and Chopp push the legislature to work hard and solve the problem? Not really. Instead, they allowed lawmakers to dawdle, make excuses, and promise to do the work next year.
However, while the contempt ruling was in place, there were two issues – which directly impacted education funding – where both Governor Inslee and House Speaker Frank Chopp refused to compromise.
The first example is Boeing’s unprecedented $8.7 billion tax break. Unlike fully funding public education, it took just three days of debate for the Legislature to approve that boondoggle.
The second example is when both Frank Chopp and Governor Inslee betrayed their own party and pushed through a controversial bill which reestablished charter schools in Washington State; a crass move where pleasing lobbyists won out over the Constitutional rights of 1 million students who have been waiting years for fully funded schools.
So, Inslee and Chopp do have spines, but just can’t seem to find them when it comes to solving the McCleary crisis.
However, the most stinging diss to Washington’s students, parents, and teachers may have come when Inslee decided to take a capital gains tax off the table – before real budget negotiations had even begun.
Sorry, Governor Inslee, but we’ve seen this losing strategy before.
Democrats love to give away all of their leverage before negotiations begin and then whine afterwards about how they just had to agree to whatever horrible plan the Republicans put forward.
And make no mistake, the Republican plan is horrible. It’s basically a public education destruction plan masquerading as a funding plan.
We think Governor Inslee and Frank Chopp need to unscramble their priorities, but we need your help to set them straight.
Please solve this worksheet (Unscramble_2) which lists all of the revenue sources that should be on the table. After you’re finished, make a copy and mail one to Governor Inslee and the other to Frank Chopp.
Here’s their addresses for easy mailing:
PO Box 40600
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
If you are able to make tomorrow’s WEA Caucus McCleary Candlelight Vigil (June 2nd from 8-10PM on the Capital steps) please make copies of the worksheet and share them with the other participants.
When it comes to kids, we refuse to compromise. We wish more politicians felt the same way.
-TRAP: Shawna Murphy and Carolyn Leith