Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Election Day - Voting to Fund Local Schools

It's election day and there are only two issues on the ballot unfortunately and both are Seattle school funding measures. Should we give money to repair old school buildings? Should we renew a $397 million dollar operations levy? No one expects a large voter turn out.

In Washington, our schools are forced to rely levies to help pay for the "extras," those non-essential things like teacher salaries, librarians, special education and books. In Seattle 24 percent of the operating budget comes from that 397 million dollar levy.

In the Seattle PI, someone wrote in to say:
"Why should I vote for the Seattle schools levies? I didn't feel the need to populate the earth with children. I don't care about your kids or your schools or anybody else's kids for that matter."

This kind of thing makes me want to rip my hair out. No sense of community, civic pride, responsibility, short sighted. Unbelievable.

I like these responses to that question best:
"I have no idea how to reply to something like that. State-funded public education is in the state constitution, so perhaps "kidless" needs to find a state more in tune with his "me first" beliefs. I confess, I have never met anyone whose views could be construed as anti-education, based on costs. What next, police and fire protection by auction? If you can't outbid your neighbor, your house burns while his is saved?"


"Wait until that uneducated kid becomes an unemployable adult who will in short order become incorrigible criminal and subsequently an irredeemable felon. School kid = $7000/annum to educate. Felon = $60,000/annum to imprison. Do the math. You can pay now or pay later. Your choice."

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