After attending a town hall meeting a few weeks back with representatives Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege, I couldn’t believe how poorly prepared they were to deal with serious answers to serious problems.
While there were numerous examples, I will limit my comments to the school funding issue. Somehow the Supreme Court, in McCleary v. State of Washington, determined the state was not adequately funding K-12 education. Specifically identified were science and math achievement levels. Classroom size was identified as a catalyst to solving the problem.
My question is, is funding really the problem? Research from the Freedom Foundation shows we spend an average of $12,836 per student per year in Washington for dismal marks. Tuition, on the other hand, at the University of Washington, for a world class education, is $12,950. Class size is anything but small.
Now if the $114 difference in funding would solve the our problem, I would be on that like a “fat kid on a Twinkie.” But it won’t. The even bigger problem is the kids are leaving the public education system and entering the job market without job skills or a work ethic.
The 13 years of social engineering that is public education system has produced an environment where there is no incentive for kids to excel. At the end of the day, excellence is treated no differently than the the mediocre. Why would anyone excel when the reward for first and last place are the same?
They won’t, and as a result, kids are leaving school without the knowledge base, temperament or skillset to succeed.
Our kids’ education is too important to be left to the Legislature or courts for solutions. All school funding should be stripped until we have a viable system solution. That would be a huge motivator for quick action and it is not like kids would be falling further behind while the issue is being resolved.
It is also time to revisit the state Constitution and evaluate narrowing goals and responsibility for state-mandated education. The door for abuse is just too wide and it is obviously being horribly abused, for interests that have nothing to do with education.