by Carl, 11/26/2012, 8:38 PM

Goldy’s piece on how if we want to save education in this state, we’re going to have to pay for a lot more of it at the state level got me thinking about how the response to McCleary has been sold to us by both Democrats and Republicans.

Inslee and McKenna both more or less ran on magical solutions. Inslee thought we’ll grow our way out of it: hopefully OK for the short term, but not really a sustainable solution. And McKenna’s solution was to take money out of Puget Sound schools and put it into the rest of the state. Not really OK when Puget Sound schools are in trouble too. We were also told that charters would bring the magic of the market to education.

But no, we’re going to have to pay for it if we want better education, as Goldy says:

Instead—and here’s a novel and straight forward idea—why don’t we just raise the state school levy from the $2.26 per thousand dollars of property value rate it stands at now, to the maximum statutory $3.60 rate it stood at during the mid-1980s, the era of peak K-12 funding equity? That would add over $1.1 billion in new K-12 spending, about $1,000 per student. Sure, everybody’s taxes would go up, but by far the largest share would still be shouldered by those of us in “property-rich” districts, thus increasing both equity and funding. If local voters then want to cut their own local school levies, that’s up to them.

But of course, people would scream bloody murder if that were to happen. They’ve been told that they can fund education with magic. The debate is simply what magic to use.

27 Responses to “Funding With Magic”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

“McKenna’s solution was to take money out of Puget Sound schools and put it into the rest of the state.”

I figured he probably had a sneaky trick up his sleeve.

2. GimmeGimmeGimme spews:

Lol @ people who think spending money is the magic bullet answer to improving education…


3. Politically Incorrect spews:


It’s called “throwing money at a problem and hoping that solves the problem.”

4. greg spews:

Gimmie more truth about the King of the GOP! “Who the hell is Grover Norquist anyway?” former Pres. George H. W. Bush quipped to Parade magazine in July. House Speaker John Boehner gibed in November that Norquist was just “some random person in America.” He’s the Americans for Tax Reform president (and founder) who’s gotten many GOP lawmakers to sign an anti-tax pledge.

7. GimmeGimmeGimme spews:


And speaking of tools…..

8. Very Severe Conservative spews:

I don’t see the benefit of spending my money on other people’s kids.

I don’t see the benefit of spending my money on other people’s kids since they are just going to move away and now I will have spent all that money and it does nothing for the tax base of my little community.

I don’t see the benefit of spending my money on teachers so they make more, and have better benefits than I do.

I had a miserable education, why should some one else’s kid get a better one?

The kids are stupid. their parents don’t raise them right. they are just going to vote for democrats. Why waste my money on them?

Nothing’s in it for me.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2, @3 – Why stop with schools? Let’s apply your reasoning to the fire department, too, so they’ll have less equipment and personnel on hand when your house catches fire.

10. GimmeGimmeGimme spews:

Strawman fail.

11. ArtFart spews:

@4 ” ‘Who the hell is Grover Norquist anyway?’ former Pres. George H. W. Bush quipped to Parade magazine in July.”

Shows how far out of the loop old Pappy became…

And “Parade” was probably the only publication that would have paid attention.

12. No Time for Fascists spews:

@10. Notice how the conservative don’t want that service cut since they personally benefit from that. Typical.

13. GimmeGimmeGimme spews:


Notice how the strawman failed?

My kids benefit from good schools just like anyone elses…but I am smart enough to know, unlike you, that throwing money at the issue isn’t really gonna help.

it really comes down to parents and how much they are involved and howmuch tme the invest in their kids…but we all know how liberals hate to hear that fact…a stable, intact family is old fashioned and anti-progressive, isn’t it.

14. rhp6033 spews:

Today’s schools in Washington state deal with a number of problems we didn’t have when I was in school. Children where English is a second language (or children who don’t speak English at all); children from families who never graduated from high school and have no idea what’s required for a child to keep up; children from single-parent families and even some homeless children.

Conservatives like to say that isn’t their problem. They like to say that if the families aren’t mirror images of the Cleaver family, then we shouldn’t bother with them.

But these children will grow up to vote, try to hold jobs in society, and will make babies which will be yet another generation of school’s problems.

Lots of countries have discovered that education is the one thing they can do which will economically benefit their people the most, it creates the biggest bang of investment per buck. Japan, S. Korea, India, China, and now other S.E. Asian countries are following that model. Their students know more math and science by the 9th grade than the average American student does by their second year of college. And if you don’t think we are competing with them, you haven’t been exposed to the world very much.

Money does have an impact. We can hire more teachers so we have lower class sizes. The difference in teaching kids with fifteen of them in a class is remarkably greater than trying to do the same thing with 25 kids in the same class. And teaching smaller class sizes in the elementary grades pays of big by the time the students hit high school, then you can afford to have somewhat larger class sizes because the kids have the basics down.

It also helps if you can afford to pay teachers to be available before and after school to work with students who need speacial coaching, instead of relying upon the occassional volunteer labor from teachers who might have other obligations.

So yes, to some extent, money does make a difference.

15. ArtFart spews:

@9/@10/@13 Well, depends…in some of the more hoity-toity (and as it turns out, more flammable) neighborhoods around Los Angeles, people can actually buy private fire protection. You make regular payments to an outfit like you would to an insurance company, and if all those eucalyptus trees in your neck of the woods go up, they’ll send a truck to put water on your house. If the guy next door didn’t buy in, fuck him–they’ll let his place burn. Never mind that your private VIP firefighters will still have a lot harder time saving your place if it’s being showered glowing embers from next door…

Remember those disastrous fires in and around Colorado Springs about a year ago? Not long beforehand, that great bastion of right wingnuttery actually did make significant cuts to its fire department. Great timing, huh?

Another straw man…well, up in flames.

16. GimmeGimmeGimme spews:


Wrong agqin, nice try though.

Strawman intact……

17. No Time for Fascists spews:

What fucked up world view do you live in?
Progressives are pro family.
Progressives want people to be paid a living wage and reasonable hours so parents have time to raise their kids and pay for school activities and put them through college.
Once the fetus is born, Progressives value that child and want it to thrive.
Progressives want to to have excellent schools so everyone who wants an education can get one, because Progressives see the value of an educated population.
Progressives don’t however have a narrow view of family, Progressives value all families, not JUST the straight nuclear family, we want all families, including the divorced families, the blended families, the LGTB families, the single parent families, etc, to have the resources to be stable, loving, caring and involved.
Can you honestly say conservatives want that? Not the ones who post here.

18. GimmeGimmeGimme spews:


I live in the world of responsible parents and people who contribute, not taketaketake……..

Which world do you live in?

19. No Time for Fascists spews:

Same one as you do, the world of responsible parents and people who contribute,
Come to think of it, even more so, since my communities tax dollars go to rural communities who don’t have enough of a tax base to support their schools without a handout. Our school rated 90-100 on the standardized tests, so we are engaged and we pay more than we should. Are you a taker of our largess? Are one of those yelling Gimmie?

20. Tea for everyone spews:

The Population of this state in passing Charter Schools sort of told you what they though of taxing more and piling more in the current programs!

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

@18 The biggest takers in the universe are giant corporations on government dole and millionaires who aren’t satisfied with their special tax privileges (see, e.g., “carried interest”) and keep coming back for more more more. As for irresponsible parents, the solution to that is beefing up child support enforcement agencies, but a lot of GOP-voting deadbeat dads wouldn’t like that.

22. rhp6033 spews:

# 15: I lived in a small suburb which had a private fire department. I still remember a neighbor’s house going up in flames, the fire department stood by but didn’t do a thing other than spray the houses next door which had paid for their protection. It turned out the neighbor who’s house was on fire had indeed bought the protection, but there was some mix-up and the fire battallion which responded were told that he was not a subscriber. Since the family was away from home at the time, they couldn’t argue the issue.

I was in Jr. High School before they voted to have a public fire department. The private fire (and ambulance) companies campaigned hard against the measure. And you had your share of folks who wouldn’t pay for protection in the form of fire subscription payments or taxes for fire protection – they insisted that they could look after their own house so it didn’t catch fire. But the public option won overwhelmingly.

23. expatchad spews:

Conservatives who don’t want to pay for schools ought not to be allowed to breed. Seems simple enough to me.

24. Topher spews:

#8, that is brilliant satire. You have truly captured the idiocy of the wingnut mind.

25. Ekim spews:

23. expatchad spews:

Conservatives who don’t want to pay for schools ought not to be allowed to breed. Seems simple enough to me.

Personally, I don’t have anything against Conservatives,
I think everyone should own at least one.

26. Politically Incorrect spews:


I know a retired teacher who confided in me that he thought the teachers got paid pretty well. He was happy to admit that he managed to have a family with 2 kids and provide a nice life for them, all on his teacher’s salary.

The problem is that we have “dumbed-down” the system to try to build self-esteem for all the kids. They’re 23rd in math and sciences for the industrial countries , but the kids are number one when it comes to self esteem!

As far as the fire and police go, they get enough, too.

27. rhp6033 spews:

When I was young, my father invited some Swedish engineers to our house for a BBQ one summer. When they found out my Mom was a schoolteacher, they were very impressed. “You must make a LOT of money!” they exclaimed. My Mom just laughed – teachers were not unionized in our state, and got whatever the politicians deemed to give them.

Note that Sweden is one of the countries where we fall behind in math, science and foreign language education.

I generally haven’t been talking about teacher salaries – I’ve been talking about class sizes, mostly. But as a general rule, you get what you pay for. If you want underpaid and unmotivated teachers because that’s the best job they can get, then the results are predictable. Why can’t Republicans, who insist that an executive’s multi-million dollar salary is insufficient to motivate them without additional huge bonuses and stock options, understand this simple concept?