LATEST BLOGS

Seattle and state officials use their privilege to deny levy funding to charter school families
By LIV FINNE  | 
Nov 19, 2018

The Seattle Times reports that Mayor Durkan is considering whether to deny benefits to charter school families under the just-passed $600 million Families and Education Levy.

This is obviously unfair, and a denial of social justice, especially since charter schools largely help low-income and minority children in Seattle’s underserved communities (all of the city’s charters are located south of the ship canal).

After some investigation, I discovered that the same is true of Governor Inslee, State Superintendent Reykdal and some state lawmakers; state-level policy excludes charter school families from participating in state funding for educational facilities.

State and Seattle politicians like to talk about how they support social justice, but they go strangely silent when it comes to helping charter school families.

While professing devotion to fair and equal treatment to all, regardless of race and class, these politicians withhold public funding for the schools of low-income, minority charter school families.

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Seattle teachers union joins court battle to push for a state income tax
By LIV FINNE  | 
Nov 16, 2018

Seattle teachers union president Phyllis Campano (salary $127,000) has joined a group of unions in filing legal papers to urge the courts to allow the imposition of a state income tax on the people of Washington state.

The case Kunath et al v. City of Seattle is being promoted by the Seattle Teachers Association (SEA) and other liberal groups seeking to increase the tax burden that state and local officials impose on residents.  Currently, Washington is one of nine states that does not impose a tax on family and personal income.

A state income tax is highly unpopular in Washington.  Voters have rejected income tax proposals ten times, most recently in 2010 when an income tax ballot measure was defeated by 64% of the vote.

In Olympia, bills to impose a capital gains income tax have failed in the face of bi-partisan opposition in the last two legislative sessions.

In spending member dues on an unpopular lawsuit, SEA union leadership may not be acting in the best interests of teachers.  SEA membership has dropped 10 percent since U.S. courts ruled in June that public employees can quit their union without being fired.  Every teacher who quits saves about $1,000 a year in dues.  The SEA union has lost some $300,000 as a result.

Meanwhile, SEA leaders and other unions say they want officials to impose a state income tax, even though that could reduce the household income of teachers and of every working family in the state.  Teacher union executives always tell us they are doing it “for the children,” but that is hard to believe when the result is cutting the take-home pay of their parents.

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Unions ask Court to overrule will of the voters on income taxes
By JASON MERCIER  | 
Nov 16, 2018

Some state unions really, really, really want an income tax in Washington state. Problem for them, the voters don't. In fact, the voters have rejected an income tax ten straight times, including turning down six proposed constitutional amendments. Consistently failing at the ballot box, unions are now hoping to have their income tax dreams realized by asking the state Supreme Court to do what voters won't.

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