Washington’s children don’t deserve this. Their parents don’t deserve this. Our legislators don’t deserve this.
One Seattle Times article heads, “No school for thousands of kids as teachers hold 1-day walkout.” While correctly noting that children would be missing school, the article should head, “No school for thousands of parents’ kids as teachers hold more illegal 1-day walkouts.” Working parents and their children don’t deserve to be treated as political pawns. The WEA disagrees.
WEA favorite Jay Inslee is stoking the fires by saying, “Legislators are getting an 11 % raise, while teachers have to dig into their pockets to buy pencils for kids.” Inslee of course fails to distinguish education funding (voted on by the legislature) from legislator pay, (decided on by the separate and completely independent Washington Citizen’s Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.) Considering his loyalty to his union major campaign contributors, this kind of rhetoric is not surprising.
There is a sad irony in the signs waved by teachers who have walked off of their jobs. One popular sign makes the tired argument, “Good Schools Require Good Funding. Fund Public Schools,” pretending as if education hasn’t already been fully funded and totally unaware of the fact that “Good Schools” require teachers to stay in them. It would be funny if children weren’t suffering the consequences.
The plain truth is that the Senate has passed a budget that fulfills the McCleary funding mandate. The Senate uses $3 billion in extra revenue the state will receive to increase spending without imposing new taxes. And quite simply the House won’t vote on their own tax increases because they don’t have enough support to pass them. But that doesn’t stop them, Jay Inslee, and the WEA from leading Washington down the path towards a potential government shutdown.
The empty rhetoric coming from the far left might be deafening, but it is not defining the reality that we are gaining support and notching success after success through responsible governance. Let the teacher protests act as a metaphor and a lesson: when the left doesn’t get their way, they become destructive. It is up to us Republicans to be the adults in the room.