I’m sympathetic to the proposal by the Washington Association of School Administrators to cut 5 days the school year. They’re responding to the reality that the state almost certainly isn’t going to raise taxes significantly. If we’re not going to figure out how to fund education at the state level, we may as well figure out how to make it work as well as possible at the shitty funding level we’re going to get. And there are worse things than fewer days.
So, yeah, it may not be as bad for state children as some of the other godawful options. It may be that better education can happen in those 175 days than in 180 days spread thinner. And cutting levy equalization will hurt the most vulnerable children.
Still, if Seattle* voters support every district levy for decades, if they support the Families and Education Levy and doubled it last time, and still see their children get a week less of school, I don’t know how much they’ll be willing to support paying for education at the state level. I think we’re still willing to pay state taxes to improve education all over, but we’re not willing to see our children lose out when Seattle hasn’t done anything wrong.
For it’s one thing for Seattle to subsidize the rest of the state. But to hurt our children for that is something entirely new. We’re willing to let the state skim off the top, but I don’t know that we’ll be willing to lose school days to subsidize other districts.
* There are other property rich districts that pass their levies, but I think Seattle is the best example here.