In spite of a pending lawsuit that challenges the States longstanding inability to fully fund basic K-12 education as required by the constitution, Governor Gregoire is proposing sweeping cuts that will drastically move Olympia in the opposite direction of meeting that mandate.
And unfortunately, the ultimate casualties of these reckless spending reductions are our children.
But in addition, these massive cuts send a strong message to our teachers – don’t strive for educational excellence; don’t attempt to improve your knowledge base or skill set; become complacent; embrace mediocrity!
Included in Gregoire’s budget butchering is the suspension of annual bonuses for National Board-certified teachers. It’s not a huge bonus, mind you, but it’s one of the few programs out there that rewards teachers for investing significant time and energy in achieving higher levels of proficiency and fosters meaningful self-improvement. It’s a program that translates into better equipped teachers, which results in improved student performance.
If these proposed cuts are approved, our legislators will be sending us the wrong message – that education is not a priority in Washington State; that our teaching professionals shouldn’t strive for educational excellence; and that our kids don’t matter.