Friday, August 12, 2016

Seattle Schools Community Forum: McCleary Talk From Two Good Thinkers

Seattle Schools Community Forum: McCleary Talk From Two Good Thinkers:

McCleary Talk From Two Good Thinkers

Yesterday, Rep Reuven Carlyle had an opinion piece at Publicola.  He says that Sound Transit and public education funding cannot be done at the same time.  In 2015, he says he supported the financing for the light rail system.  (partial)

And yet, as I review the updated financing plan in more depth, I continue to grapple on a deeply personal level with the genuine burden the Sound Transit proposal places on public education. It is unsettling at best to serve as a state legislator while Olympia is under a contempt order by the Supreme Court for failing to meet the state’s paramount duty of fully funding public education. This is historic and unprecedented and we are recreating our educational finance plan for the next generation in real time. After putting an additional $2.5 billion into K-12 funding over the last three legislative sessions since the McCleary ruling, Democrats and Republicans are struggling to find a final path forward for the last $3.5 billion approximately. It’s virtually impossible to reach that level of new education funding without reform to the state property tax and local school levies. The transportation finance plan makes that difficult but essential project dramatically more complex.

As a state legislator with a passion for building the best education system in the nation, I am unsettled that the package consumes the oxygen in the room on taxes for virtually all other public services at all levels of government for years to come. The plan moves to among the very highest sales tax in the nation along with a major property tax increase. We need to be honest that the ability of cities, counties and the state to utilize the sales tax in the future as a new revenue source is effectively ended with this plan. The impact on property taxes at the city and county level is more uncertain but clearly substantial. In economic terms, the opportunity costs are extraordinary for years to come.
 Robert Cruickshank replies to Carlyle in this piece from The Urbanist.(partial)

As a parent who lives in the 36th District, and therefore a Seattle Schools Community Forum: McCleary Talk From Two Good Thinkers:

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