Highlights from Press Conference on OSPI Race & Maia Espinoza

Inslee, Jayapal, Stonier, and local educators discussed Republican Espinoza’s plan to slash school funding and the need for voters to support Chris Reykdal in Superintendent race”

For Immediate Release | October 27, 2020

SEATTLE — Yesterday, elected officials and local educators held a press conference to discuss Republican candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction Maia Espinoza and her plans to cut public school funding by $2.5 billion. Espinoza’s plan, which would amount to a 20 percent across-the-board cut to school funding, would devastate local public schools at a time when students and teachers need more support than ever before to succeed. Espinoza is running against Democratic incumbent Chris Reykdal in the race. 

The press conference can be seen here. Quotes from the press conference include – 

Gov. Jay Inslee:

“The Republican Party, through Chris’ opponent, is staging what you might think of as a sneak attack on public education, an effort to reduce our investment in our schools by $2.5 billion. Chris’ opponent in this race has come out, and we have now smoked her out, to find out she has proposed to cut school budgets by $2.5 billion. Now, what kind of a Trump supporter would think you want to be the superintendent of public instruction trying to cut funding for our teachers, to cut funding to reduce class sizes, to cut funding for our resources. This is inexcusable in our state. And the reason is that Chris’ opponent is following the Trump policies of voucher-izing our public school system, reducing support for our teachers, and we cannot go that direction in our state.”

US Rep. Pramila Jayapal:

“The Republican challenger to Chris Reykdal is Maia Espinoza, I think of her as the Betsy DeVos of Washington state. I know exactly how bad that is for public education as someone who has spent every single year in Congress, that I’ve been there, fighting back against a corrupt and very dangerous DeVos-Trump privatization agenda. That’s the only way to describe it. Betsy DeVos and Maia Espinoza both want to take our tax dollars out of our public schools, turn them into vouchers, and send them to private, unaccountable institutions.”

“Washington state doesn’t need a Betsy DeVos anywhere near our kids. The only major difference between Betsy and Maia is, at least Betsy DeVos is honest about what she’s trying to do. She doesn’t hide her privatization agenda, she comes right out and tells us that she is for taking funding away from public schools and educators.”

“We need to call out her dishonesty just as we call out President Donald Trump’s lies. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last four years pushing back against a President who has no relationship to the truth. Our kids and our parents do not need someone who can’t tell the truth running our public school system. And I gotta say, the ease and the frequency with which Republican Maia Espinoza lies is just troubling to me. We know she doesn’t tell the truth!”

State Rep. Monica Jurado Stonier:

“The Republicans have made this race, this nonpartisan election, an incredibly partisan issue. They have brought to you a candidate that has absolutely no qualifications for this job. She is not certified to teach in this state. She has never served on a school board. She has never led educators or students in this state in a way that would best benefit them and their futures. So as a parent, thinking about the million students in this state, I’m very concerned that somebody with no qualifications has been placed on the ballot with a champion like Chris Reykdal.” 

WEA President Larry Delany

“Under Chris Reykdal’s leadership, educators are proud. We’re proud that we see reduced class sizes. We’ve seen an increased investment in public education and improvement in our schools statewide. We know Chris was an advocate for increasing funding via the McCleary decision and this is a difference that educators see in their classrooms each and every day. He supports high quality professional development so Washington educators can remain the best educators in the country. And he opposes the narrow-minded GOP voucher system that his opponent strongly endorses.”

Elementary school Teacher Michelle Dinkins of Olympia

“In these difficult times of distance learning, hybrid models, safety regulations around face-to-face instruction, now more than ever we need our legislators to understand how crucial school budgets are, and we cannot afford cuts. We need more funding for PPE and supports for students. We need leaders who value science and understand the complexities of being in a classroom and part of a school community when dealing with this global pandemic. Chris Reykdal understands these things.”

High school teacher Michael Peña of Mukilteo

“We cannot address equity gaps without the funding and commitment to make sure that our Black, brown, and indigenous students are equitably resourced. Chris Reykdal is working with us as educators and understands how critical it is to target these inequitable systems so that all students have the opportunity to learn. He has pledged to target funding to the students who most need it and he understands the challenges that levy funding creates for districts like mine.”