It’s widely assumed that Initiative 1351, the ballot measure that purports to reduce class sizes, will pass by a wide margin. The initiative title has bumper-sticker attractiveness, it faces no organized opposition, and executives at the powerful WEA and other unions are putting $3.5 million of their members’ dues money behind it. (In Washington, teachers must pay the union as a condition of employment.)
Backers of Initiative 1351 are asking voters to support reduced class sizes without providing a way to pay for it. Smaller class sizes without higher taxes – who wouldn’t be for that? As one skeptic quipped, it’s like asking people to vote for puppies and apple pie.
A report released last month by the Reason Foundation ranks Washington as the state with the 42nd best highway performance out of the 50 U.S. states. Just three years ago, the state ranked 24th among other states. Washington received poor marks because “mileage in poor condition (on urban and rural Interstates and rural arterials) increased considerably, despite increased spending (relative to the U.S. average).”
Initiative 1351, the ballot measure on class sizes, will bring new profits to the powerful WEA union because all new teachers will be forced to pay about $1,000 a year in dues as a condition of employment. Overall the measure represents a $7.4 million windfall for the union, every year.
At the same time, I-1351 would do little to improve learning for Washington’s school children.
A statement released Saturday by the Washington state Democratic Party falsely describes the political support behind Initiative 1351, the unfunded ballot measure intended to reduce class sizes.
The statement says “As Democrats, we are united” in supporting strong schools and educational opportunities then adds in bold lettering, “That’s why Democrats support Initiative 1351 to reduce class size for every child, in every grade.”
Curious to know if those that hope to represent you in the Legislature next year believe you have the right to settle the twenty year debate about whether tax increases should receive a supermajority vote or voter approval?
Last weekin Yakima, in the second round of charter school applications, the Washington State Charter School Commission approved only one new school and rejected three others. Here are the actions Commissioners took:
The CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs 2,000 restaurants nationwide, published an outstanding editorial in the Wall Street Journal last weekend that explains why a government mandate increasing the minimum wage is bad for employers and workers.