Washington State History about Public Education
From Robert Cruickshank of Democracy for America this story fromHistoryLink:
History matters. This article tells the story of the so-called "Barefoot Schoolboy Act," passed in 1895. It was the first time the state of Washington attempted to fully fund our public schools, and it was thanks to the work of Populist progressive and future governor John Rogers. The article shows how the "paramount duty" language was created in the first place, and why it is so important that our state live up to that promise and fully fund our schools.From the article (some content will sound very of the minute to our current situation):
This was one of the core promises made when Washington became a state. It is time the legislature followed in John Rogers' bold footsteps and once again ensured all public schools in this state, and every child in this state, gets a fully funded and equitable education.
On March 14, 1895, the Washington State Legislature approves what is commonly called the "Barefoot Schoolboy Act," which for the first time provides a uniform means of producing recurring income for the state's public schools by imposing a direct tax.
Prior to the act, educational funds were derived from a welter of sources, none of which were very predictable and some of which, due to circumstance, tended to favor a few districts over others.
The bill requires the state to impose an annual tax on the value of property sufficient to provide, in combination with other available funds, a minimum of $6 per year for each school-age child in the state. The Barefoot Schoolboy Act is largely the Seattle Schools Community Forum: Washington State History about Public Education: