Fellow Democrats – we’ve got an important and urgent update on the education funding effort in our state legislature.
The Senate Republicans finally released their long-awaited education plan and no surprise – it gets a failing grade. Now they’re trying to push it through the legislature before the public can hear about the funding cuts and regressive taxes they have planned for Washington families.
The Senate Republican plan to “supposedly solve” the education funding crisis would actually cut funding for hundreds of thousands of students across Washington State. At a time when solving our McCleary-mandated crisis requires increasing education funding, cutting school funding for one in ten students in Washington State is a just wrong.
The Republicans plan to pay for their plan with a massive regressive tax increase – $2 billion more in property taxes that Washingtonians can’t afford. We already have the most unfair tax system in the country and this is a step in the wrong direction. Rather than ask the richest 1% and environmental polluters to pay their fair share, they ask vulnerable seniors and working class families pay more in property taxes.
And sadly, these taxes don’t even pay for their entire plan – Republicans come up $1.4 billion dollars short on education funding. This means they’ll also need to cut billions of dollars from colleges and universities, health care, and social services for our poorest families and children.
The Republican plan also opens the door to privatization of our public schools by exempting many schools from state laws and protections for student rights – the policies being pushed by Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. And it would cut special education funding, lower standards for teachers, and raise class sizes in our schools.
The Senate Republicans know their plan stinks, which is why they’re trying to ram it through before the public notices. It’s being voted on in the Ways & Means Committee right now and Republican Senator Joe Fain of Auburn told the press that the plan could be voted on by the Senate as soon as TOMORROW.
We need you to make two urgent calls.
Call Senator Joe Fain and tell him that his education bill fails the children of Washington State. His number is 360-786-7692
Call YOUR Senator and ask them to stop this bill. You can find your legislators’ contact information here. We must let our senators know by email or phone that we need an education funding solution that actually increases funding for all students and is fully and fairly funded. The Senate Republican education scheme is the wrong path forward, and Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative Democrats have introduced plans that actually increase education funding for students in our schools and are paid for responsibly by asking those who are ducking their fair share of taxes to chip in.
Bonus Action Item if you have time:
Call, text, or email two of your friends, and encourage them to call their senators with this important message.
You can also post a message on social media, we suggest messages like –
Senate GOP wants to cut school funding, raise regressive taxes! Call Joe Fain at 360-786-7692 and let him know his plan is wrong #waleg
Or on Facebook:
The Senate Republicans are trying to rush through a plan to cut education funding for hundreds of thousands of students while raising regressive and unaffordable property taxes across the state. We need to step up and let our legislators know that schools should be their top priority and the Republican plan will hurt our students, schools, and teachers.
Here’s what we need you to do:
-Call Senator Joe Fain and tell him that his education bill fails the children of Washington State. His number is 360-786-7692
-Call YOUR Senator and ask them to stop this bill. You can find your legislators’ contact information at http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder. We must let our senators know by email or phone that we need an education funding solution that actually increases funding for all students and is fully and fairly funded.
-Call, text, or email two of your friends, and encourage them to call their senators with this important message!
Thanks for reading – you can reach us at [email protected] with your thoughts and feedback. Let’s keep a spotlight on the legislature this year and we’ll stay in touch with you about how we can work together to fight back, beat the Republicans, and deliver wins for the people of Washington!
The WA Democrats Communications Team