Not surprisingly, the Seattle Times editorial board urges Seattle School Board members to “maintain your resolve” to close five more schools, while chastising affected parents fighting to save the schools they love:
Some families found this process hurried and may mistakenly see the flurry of amendments as a way to prolong the outcome.
So here’s my question to the ed board and other opinion writers at the Times: how many of you have children who are now attending, or have graduated from Seattle Public Schools? How many of you even live in Seattle?
And if you don’t have a personal stake in this battle, who are you to tell us how to run our district, or to belittle dedicated parents for doing whatever they can to save their neighborhood schools?
Given the choice between closing more schools and paying a few dollars more on our property tax, I’m betting Seattle voters would choose the latter. So instead of just presenting a false choice between school closures and budget crisis, here’s a novel idea worth editorializing about: perhaps the Legislature should give school districts the ability to weather the current economic downturn by granting the authority to temporarily exceed the current cap on the percentage of revenues that can be raised through local school levies?
And since the Times owns property in Seattle, they would be free to editorialize on the subsequent levy vote all they want, without coming off as a bunch of holier-than-thou outsiders.
Bruce Ramsey answers my question via email:
I was born in Seattle, went to university in Seattle, I live in Seattle and I have a child in the Seattle Public Schools.
Of the four editorial writers, two live in Seattle and two live in the suburbs in King County.
By my count there are six editorial board writers, when you include editors Jim Vesely and Kate Riley, neither of whom live in Seattle. Not that I think residency should be a prerequisite for commentary, but… well… I’m just sayin’….