Tag Archives: education

Why the League Opposes Charter Schools

Founded by activists who secured voting rights for women, the League of Women Voters has always worked to promote the values and processes of representative government. The League believes in an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive – one that assures opportunities for citizen participation in government decision-making.

Because of these deeply held convictions, League of Women Voters of WA led the opposition of the two charter school initiatives and the referendum in 1996, 2000 and 2004 that were rejected by the voters. And we oppose HB 2428 and SB 6202 for the following reasons:

• Private boards selected by non-profit corporations rather than publicly elected by citizens will govern charter schools. Voters will lose their right to elect representatives to oversee the spending of their taxes.
• Charter schools will be exempt from state statutes and rules applicable to school districts and boards, creating a separate and unequal school system even though Article IX of the Washington state Constitution requires a general and uniform system of public schools. *
• HB 2428 and SB 6202 will create additional administrative functions and costs for the State Board of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and School Districts at a time when further cuts are proposed for K-12, and the Supreme Court has ruled in McCleary v. State that Washington is failing to provide ample funding for education. *
• There are many successful innovative and alternative schools as part of the public school system in Washington state. Let’s encourage them and work toward full funding rather than be distracted by charter schools that the voters have already rejected three times.

Further points:

* The Washington Supreme Court has stated that a common school is open “to all
children . . . free, and subject to, and under the control of, the qualified voters of the
school district.” (School Dist. No. 20 v. Bryan, 51 Wash. 498)
* Education Week’s Quality Counts report gave Washington an F grade in education
spending and ranked the state 42nd in per-pupil spending and 44th in expenditures
as a percent of state taxable resources.

Catherine Ahl
Education Chair, LWVWA

Oct. 26 Meeting Looks at Federal Role in Education

The League of Women Voters of Kitsap will explore the federal role in public education at its next meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Eagles Nest, 1200 Fairgrounds Road, Bremerton.
A panel of local educators will be on hand to discuss the issues and answer questions. They are Greg Lynch, Superintendent, Central Kitsap School District; Kathryn Simpson, Board President, South Kitsap School District; Wayne Lindberg, Finance and Operations Director, Bremerton School District; and Chris Fraser, President, North Kitsap Education Association.
Please plan to attend and bring your questions. For example, has No Child Left Behind worked? Should the federal government mandate items as a condition for funding or should there be more equity and/or flexibility in funding? Should common standards, assessments and curriculum be required or voluntary in all states?
The gathering is free and open to the public. For information call (360) 697-7924.

State League Sets Legislative Priorities

The 2011 regular session of the Washington State Legislature is scheduled to begin Jan. 10. The state League will again have its legislative action team in place and will lobby for its priorities.
League’s Priorities for the 2011 Legislative Session

Strengthen Democracy
– support public campaign financing for judicial positions
– protect state funding that invests in programs to promote a more positive future for all citizens

Support Education, Early Learning, Families and Children
– support development of a funding system for the K-12 basic education structure
– protect state and federal funding to meet basic needs of families and children
– promote policies and programs that promote the well-being and safety of all children
– improve and support child care program quality and access for low-income families

Improve Access to Health Care
– guarantee access for all residents in comprehensive, uniform, and affordable health services
– use implementation of the Affordable Care Act to help maintain funding for public health, health coverage for low income populations, and for incentives for primary care doctors to work in under-served areas

Protect Natural Resources and Human Health
– provide clean energy and good health by transitioning power plants away from burning coal
– reduce pollution by controlling phosphorus in lawn fertilizers
– adopt an effective program to clean up and prevent pollutants, including petroleum products, from entering the waters of the state
– reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals in children’s products quickly and effectively

Promote a Balanced Transportation System
– increase affordable and reliable access to public transportation
– decrease the number of single-occupancy vehicles on roads, bridges and ferries
– increase fuel efficiency by promoting development and use of alternative fuel sources across all modes of transportation

LWVUS to Study Federal Role in Public Education

“Federal Role in Public Education” Study Committee Application Online
In accordance with the approval of delegates at Convention 2010, the LWVUS will undertake a study of the “Federal Role in Public Education.” The study would focus on the role of the federal government in education policymaking, with possible consideration of funding, common standards and/or governance relationships among all levels of the government. Members of the committee will be responsible for developing study materials and consensus question, participating in reviewing/ tabulating all of the responses submitted by participating Leagues, and based on those, recommending position language to the Board. The LWVUS Board is now seeking applications from members who are interested in being on the study committee. Please complete the online application form (including your resume), no later than August 16, 2010.

What’s the Latest on Education Funding?

You’re invited to the League of Women Voters of Kitsap’s next event. Here are the details:

Public Meeting on Education Funding

Tuesday, April 20 7-9 p.m.

Central Kitsap High School Cafeteria
Corner of Bucklin Hill and NW Anderson Hill Road, Silverdale
(Entrance to the cafeteria is on the lower level as
you enter the parking lot off Bucklin Hill Rd.)

Under funding of Schools in Washington State
Steps toward School Finance Reform and ….
What about that Lawsuit?

Speakers: Isabel Munoz-Colon, OSPI Senior Budget Analyst and Tom Ahearne, lawyer for the Education Funding lawsuit

Come find out how much state funding will be cut from your local
schools. Why are local levies necessary? What does the Washington Constitution say about funding education? What did the judge rule?

Information: 360-697-7924

Talking Dollars & Sense with our Legislators

Cuts in education, basic health care and transportation – these are just a few of the things we are facing as a result of the worst state budget crisis that most of us can remember.
The 2009-2011 budget cuts approximately $1.8 billion from education funding, so new programs and grants that were appropriated to education projects have been eliminated. This will mean, for many schools, larger classes sizes, fewer after-school programs, fewer sports teams and less professional development for teachers.
The state’s Basic Health Plan — which provides low-cost health coverage for the working poor — has been slashed by 42 percent. This means 40,000 people will have to be cut from the plan, which now serves 102,000.
And funding for public transportation and van pools is being cut just as ridership is on the rise.
But how, specifically, will Kitsap County be affected by the current budget woes?
Mark your calendar for a public meeting with our state legislators on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Kitsap, the event is called “Let’s Talk Dollars and Sense with our Legislators.”
It will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Eagles Nest, 1200 NW Fairgrounds Road, Bremerton.
The following local legislators have confirmed that they will be there:
23rd District: Rep. Sherry Appleton, Rep. Christine Rolfes; 26th District: Sen. Derek Kilmer, Rep. Larry Seaquist, Rep. Jan. Angel (tentative); 35th District: Rep. Kathy Haigh, Rep. Fred Finn.
There will be coffee and social time from 9:30 to 10 a.m., followed by the forum from 10 to noon. Plan to come and bring your budgetary questions for our elected representatives.
For information about the forum call Loretta Payne at (360) 598-3267.