We’re keeping our promise to our kids
February 24, 2017 | By Rep. Kristine Reeves
Dear friends and neighbors,
We came to Olympia as new legislators to make sure the State finally met its duty to fully fund basic education. This week we took an important step in achieving that goal. The House of Representatives passed an education plan this Wednesday that, if adopted by the full legislature, will end the court orders and lawsuits that followed the State’s many years of inaction.
We voted for this plan because our district’s students deserve a strong school system. We also need to make sure that our schools are getting our fair share of state revenue. It’s time to end many years of the State not doing its job.
We’re ready to break the Olympia gridlock. The negotiations in the legislature continue, and we are committed to finding a bipartisan solution to these funding challenges. We’ll keep opposing any plan that involves a personal income tax or property tax increase, but we are otherwise open to thoughtful resolutions, especially those involving greater government efficiencies and the removal of corporate tax loopholes.
This week’s vote is an important first step in finally satisfying the State’s McCleary obligations, and we’ll keep fighting – and keep you updated – as we reach a resolution that best serves the needs of our community and kids.
Rep. Reeves: I’m voting for my kids
For years lawmakers fought over whether or not schools needed more funding. It took a state supreme court case to force Democrats and Republicans to come together and agree: We need to put more money in the classrooms.
The question is no longer “if” we need to put more money into the classroom. It’s “how much” and “where does the funding come from?” Property taxes, or sales tax or income tax, only hurt working families like yours and mine. I’m not here to burden you or your family–I’m here to get this job done fairly and equitably.
As a working mom, I want to see our schools fully funded for my kids. Democrats have passed a plan that increases funding by over $3,000 per student, putting more money into reducing class sizes and guidance counselor and parent involvement. Our plan drives more money into classrooms, ensuring we have high quality teachers.
That’s what I want for my kids. And for yours.
Rep. Pellicciotti: The future success of our region depends on a strong school system
I came to Olympia with a clear mission to improve the education of our students and the public safety of our community. The economic development of our region depends on our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest here – and that means having strong schools that are reform-minded and fully funded.
As a prosecutor serving our area, I have seen how youth success and educational access are linked. I refuse to fail our kids or the future of our region.
High achievers must have opportunities for growth and advancement. All kids should have class sizes that allow them to get the attention they need to thrive. Struggling students need access to learning assistance and transitional programs. We also need to better invest in career & technical education (CTE) to provide job security in a changing economy. If we provide the right support to a child in our education system at the right time, we will have a stronger school system.
The education plan I voted for this week does just that. We are investing in the highly capable programs that encourages unique academic challenges for the highly capable young scholars. We’ve dedicated $187 million for learning assistance and $25 million for transitional assistance, with $199 million in CTE. We’re recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, funding cost of living increases so teachers and their families can afford to live in our communities in which they teach, and encouraging professional development for all school staff.
No more passing the buck. No more delays. Let’s get the job done.
Join us for our first town hall meeting on Saturday, March 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
We’ll be speaking to constituents at the Federal Way Senior Center (4016 S. 352nd St, Auburn) and we’d love to see you there and answer your questions.
Both of us are excited at the opportunity to give you an update on the status of the legislature’s efforts on fully funding education, public safety, uniformed service members and veteran programs, and our efforts to bring jobs to the South Sound region.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 11, and we’ll see you there!