Minority veto on school levies: bad policy, undemocratic

Yesterday the state House passed by a 73-25 margin, a constitutional amendment that would eliminate Washington’s archaic 60% super-majority requirement for local school levies. While the bill passed with bipartisan support, it will face a much tougher battle in the more closely divided Senate. Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Legislature, plus a simple majority by the people.

The 60% super-majority requirement for school levies is a relic of a bygone era, when Washington was predominantly an agricultural economy, and property taxes were the major source of revenue for both state and local governments. It was originally instituted to make it more difficult for townspeople in rural communities to dramatically drive up taxes on the surrounding landowners.

What might have made some sense in the Depression-era, agricultural economy of the 1930s, makes absolutely no sense in the post-industrial economy of the 21st century. The fact that most school levies pass, is a tribute to the common sense of Washington’s citizenry. But the fact that most just barely pass — or on the second or third try — is a warning of how financially fragile our struggling school districts already are.

Eliminating the super-majority requirement is not a recipe for runaway property taxes, as some Republicans contend. State law prohibits school districts from raising more than a certain percentage of their operating budgets from local levies, and most districts are already at or near their statutory limit. But that is beside the point. If a majority of voters choose to tax themselves to improve their children’s education, a minority of voters should not be able to stymy them.

Local school levies are held to a ridiculous and unsustainable standard. In a political climate where consensus is increasingly difficult to come by, a 60% margin would be considered a landslide for nearly any ballot measure or office outside of a gerrymandered safe district. Voters overwhelmingly support spending more money on education, and it is incomprehensible to deny the will of the people on the grounds that their support is not overwhelming enough. To continue to give 40% of voters veto power over investing in our children’s education, is not only bad policy… it’s undemocratic.

And in the end, democracy is what this is all about. Republican opponents in the Senate should be encouraged to put aside their concerns and let this issue be decided by the people. If a majority of the people decide that school levies should be decided by a majority of the people… well… you can’t get much more democratic than that.

Comments

  1. 2

    swatter spews:

    But, besides the point, that is the point. After this gets changed, why not raise the statutory limit? Methinks, the fiscally sound Democrats are now starting to look like George Bush economics.

    How can you possibly say a 15-20% voter turnout and majority rule is democratic? And how do you propose for the counter/anti levy people to have a fair share? After all, the school boards have unlimited funds to politicize their bond levies. The 60% makes it a level playing field.

    Sorry, horse, but on this one, you are dead wrong.

    But you may want to consider when the Republicans had both houses, they soon lost big time when they started doing stupid things like this.

  2. 3

    D Huygens spews:

    Swatter @ 2-

    So would you complain then if we implement a 60% supermajority requirement on any public votes that cut taxes?

    Didn’t think so.

  3. 4

    andy spews:

    I must disagree. If only people with school age children paid the tax, or if only property owners were able to vote on the issue I could agree with a simple majority. Unfortunately many people with young children fall into the non property owner category and don’t give a damn as to the effect on taxes. I am all for user fees and personal accountability. If you can’t afford to pay for your school children’s education, don’t reproduce. The super majority is a small protective deterrent to runaway tax and spend.

    Andy

  4. 5

    Don spews:

    Actually, I hate to tell you this Goldy, but I favor keeping the 60% rule for a couple of reasons. One, and most important, funding basic education is the state’s constitutional responsibility. Voters shouldn’t have to approve local levies to keep the school doors open. This allows the Legislature to cop out of its responsibilities. The better solution is to keep the Legislature’s feet to the fire to come up with basic funding. Second, it’s all well and good to vote for higher taxes if you’re making 90K a year, but when you do that, you’re also voting to raise taxes of some folks who can’t afford it (retirees on fixed incomes, for example); so here is an instance where the minority should be able to veto the majority, a concept hardly unique or unusual in our political system. Happens all the time, and we liberals frequently support minority rights (e.g., affirmative action, Senate filibusters of judicial nominees, etc.), so it’s a bit hypocritical for us to argue that not allowing a simple majority to raise everyone’s taxes is “undemocratic.” Third, all school levies are not created equal. Just pouring more money into schools doesn’t necessarily improve them, and could even make the schools worse. For example, if you give a school district more money, they may spend it on more school bureaucracy. Before you vote for a school levy, you want to know what the money will be used for, and it should be used for things beyond “basic education” that the state doesn’t pay for, such as computer labs, science fairs, etc.

  5. 6

    Josef the Dinocrat in Marummy Country spews:

    Goldy, I support this in principle, but I have the following concerns:

    #1. Property owners were meant to be shielded by the supermajority. A new shield of property-owners only voting a simple majority would obviously work.

    #2. There is no fixed date for school levy elections, and as anybody north of the border or in Britain can tell you – that gives one side an unfair advantage. As such, either the state should set a date in February – preferably coinciding w/ the Presidential primry – or the November general election. Fixed date elections guarantee true freedom & debate and provide genuine security of minority rights.

    #3. Multiple tries are made for school levies, and again unfixed election dates. I will only support a second try in the event, like w/ Washington 2004 or Florida 2000, there are grounds to challenge the election. It is inherently unfair to keep counting and counting until you get the result you like – this isn’t golf, this is elections & taxation we’re talking about. (Thank you, Governor-Elect Rossi)

    Finally, to call on the people on the other side of the aisle, “to put aside their concerns” and not support some debate on the details unnerves me. Greatly.

    Like I said, fix the idea or tell me why I’m spewing nonsense – I’ll support it.

    Also, I blogged about this HERE this morning.

  6. 7

    swatter spews:

    Huggins, who is talking aobut reducing taxes? They get my vote.

    And it depends on the tax, doesn’t it?

    I own a house and am a slave to the bank on commercial property. About 1/2 goes to schools. My commercial property doesn’t generate kids, but the residence does. Why penalize me for that? And why do I pay school taxes on my computer and copier as Personal Property Taxes.

    It is just too easy to pass the simple majority when we only get 15-20% vote in these oddball election times. And did you notice in our local elections only 30% vote? Doing the majority during the genral election seemed a pretty reasonable amendment the Democrats slammed down yesterday and which was presented by a reasonable Republican -Pearson- who is like by Democrats, too.

  7. 8

    Josef the Dinocrat in Marummy Country spews:

    Comment by swatter— 2/22/05 @ 2:58 pm

    Well said. I have Rep. Kirk Pearson for my State Representative. Good guy through and through.

    State Democrats are outta control, methinks.

  8. 9

    gs spews:

    I agree it may pass the House and Senate cause they are tax happy! We shall see if it passes the peoples vote! I vote Hell No! It should be harder to raise these taxes!

  9. 10

    JCH spews:

    Public school teachers: “education” majors [SAT scores of around 900] in soft classes who are now “guvment” union employees. They work 180 days a yr, have 3 month vacations, take every holiday [paid] and would like to compare their employment to those who work year round in the private sector. Genally, the “education” majors were the lower half of the class in high school as well as college. It’s no wonder the kids can’t tell you when the Battle of Gettysburg, or Midway, or WWII was fought, but they know MLK’s and Malcom X’s life story and are big into Kwanzaa.

  10. 12

    swatter spews:

    Josef, as far as Pearson goes, he is liked by some Democrats that would make most of the left wing Seattle liberals seem conservative.

  11. 13

    spews:

    Goldy,

    You call the supermajority requirement archaic. Is that an important basis for your desire to eliminate it?

    It isn’t archaic. Note how the constitution has been amended over the years since 1944 — cutting the tax limit from two to one percent of total value, eliminating the 40 percent turnout requirement for approving excess levies, authorizing exemptions for low-income retirees, and authorizing lower taxes to conserve certain uses of land.

    In each case, the people have voted to reduce the impact of property taxes.

    Absent a requirement for 60 percent approval there would be no limit at all, so it is neither archaic nor illogical nor undemocratic to use the supermajority to make it more difficult to rely more heavily on property taxes.

    In 1944, the citizens of Washington adopted an amendment which limited regular property taxes to a total of two percent of the value of property. No tax in excess of that two percent limit could be imposed without the approval of 60 percent of those voting on the proposed excess tax.

    To prevent “stealth elections” which might approve excess taxes with a tiny voter turnout, the 1944 amendment required that the total number of votes cast had to be at least equal to 40 percent of the number of votes cast in the taxing district during the preceding general election.

    In 1966, the citizens of Washington further reduced the impact of property taxes by authorizing the legislature to grant relief to retired property owners. Using that authority, the legislature has exempted low-income retirees who apply for such relief from all excess levies.

    In 1968, the voters again reduced the impact of property taxes by allowing the assessed value of property used for agricultural, reforestation, open space or recreational purposes to be based on that property’s current use, rather than its “highest and best use” as defined purely by market value.

    In 1972, the citizens adopted an amendment which cut the regular property tax in half. Instead of the 1944 limit of two percent of the property’s value, this amendment capped regular property tax levies at one percent of market value.

    For more than 30 years after the end of the Great Depression, the citizens of Washington continued to reduce the amount and impact of regular property taxes. In each case, they retained the super majority requirement to make it more difficult to increase their property tax burden.

    Washington voters have made other changes since 1944.

    Having recognized that the requirement of a 40 percent turnout made it possible for “no voters” to abstain and render an excess levy election invalid, the voters adopted an amendment in 1972 which allowed approval of excess levies without a 40 percent turnout.

    Realizing that annual school levy elections were not desirable, the voters adopted an amendment in 1976 which allowed M & O levies to cover a two-year period. In 1997, they went even further by adopting an amendment which allowed M & O levies to cover a four-year period.

    In 1986, the voters adopted an amendment which allowed school district levies for capital projects to cover six years.

    Not until fire districts were recently given similar authority to propose excess levies covering more than one year was there any other taxing district that could do so.

  12. 15

    RDC spews:

    I don’t know what valid objections there may be to it, but the proposal to limit the change to a simple majority to votes held on major election days seems a reasonable compromise. Other than perhaps adding to an oftentimes crowded ballot, are there other significant downsides to this proposal?

  13. 16

    Bax spews:

    Why is this such a big deal? The legislature is proposing to have the public vote on whether to make this change — as is required for a constitutional amendment. Apparently for most of the people opposed to this, a public vote to reduce taxes is okay, but a public vote to decide the threshold required to pass a school levy is not.

    I say put it to a vote and see what happens. What’s the big deal? If it’s what the public wants, than those who approve government by initiative should be okay with it, right?

  14. 17

    spews:

    RDC,

    Holding school levy elections at the November general election would put even more stress on the planning process.

    The school fiscal year coincides pretty closely with the academic year, so they must approve their budgets in July or August for the following fiscal year.

    When it’s time to consider a levy, during the autumn they must figure out what to put on the ballot in the election that occurs the following February or March.

    The election must occur within 12 months of the time the levy begins to be imposed — in other words, a levy to be collected in 2006 has to be approved sometime in 2005.

    So, if you only changed to a November election (and didn’t change the requirement to get voter approval within one year of the levy’s beginning), you would cause the schools to approve their budgets several months before they could know what their revenue would be.

    If you want to go with a November election, then you also need to change the part of the constitution that requires voter approval at an election held no more than one year before the levy begins to be imposed.

    Take the district where I live as an example. Their levy planning process kicked into high gear in the autumn of 2004 to provide a rational basis for levy amounts to be approved by the board in late November or early December 2004 and put on the ballot for the election held in Feb. 2005 — for a levy to be collected in 2006 through 2009.

    The first year of their four-year levy proposal is 2006.

    If they had been working toward a November election (and could get voter approval more than one year before the beginning of the levy), they would have started in the spring of 2004 with their detailed analysis. The board would have acted in July or August to decide what amounts to put on the November 2004 ballot. The first year of the proposal would still be 2006, but you’ve pushed the planning back by several months and introduced more uncertainty.

    If you don’t change the requirement to gain voter approval within one year of beginning to impose the levy, then the levy would be approved or rejected in November and imposed (or not) in the year starting the following January — halfway through the current school year.

  15. 18

    RDC spews:

    Thanks..things are seldom as simple as they seem on the surface. I’ll have to chew on this awhile.

  16. 19

    Josef the Dinocrat in Marummy Country spews:

    Comment by Micajah— 2/22/05 @ 6:39 pm;

    Okay then, fix the date by the state. One shot or not.

    No more 2, 3 tries on special elections chosen by one side. Note what I said at #6, please.

  17. 20

    Chuck spews:

    Ill tell you what Goldy, I might back you on this if you stop the school districts from calling mandatory “safety” meetings to explain how everyone is going to lose their job if they dont get out and support the…fill in the blank- bond or levy. “now we cannot tell you how to vote but we have told you the facts so you can determine the right way to vote”. This happens on every levy that they run and your taxes pay for it in the name of a safety meeting! I know because I used to work for the public school system.

  18. 21

    Adriel spews:

    WOW I am impressed, I heard alot of wisdom in rejecting Goldy’s proposal keep up the good work. way to shine the light Chuck, Micajah, “If you can’t afford to pay for your school children’s education, don’t reproduce.” Andy are you a democrat? I’ve been saying that and have been scrutinized is it just because I lean to the right?

  19. 22

    Erik spews:

    The 60% super-majority requirement for school levies is a relic of a bygone era, when Washington was predominantly an agricultural economy

    I have read all 21 posts, mostly against. What strikes me most is that there is a fear of a majority. Good God. Doesn’t everyone trust a majority of voters to make the right decision?

    Every election, candidates are elected in the legislature with not many more than 50 percent of the vote.

    All sorts of million and billion dollar subsidies are given to businesses with a mere majority of the legislature. Yet, one of the primary obligations of Washington State is for providing education.

  20. 23

    Adriel spews:

    “Good God. Doesn’t everyone trust a majority of voters to make the right decision?” – Comment by Erik— 2/22/05 @ 8:45 pm

    Uh no, haven’t you been reading or did you nod off?
    The point was made that there are alot of non-home owners voting for tax hikes because they believe that it won’t affect them. Should you be able to vote on an issue that affects California’s taxes? then why would we make it easier to let home owners be penalized by voters voting on issues that can’t hurt them?

  21. 24

    Chuck spews:

    Adreal, in “shining the light” I am simply relaying the threats that were “insinuated” against the employees when I was a school district employee. This was very real and im sure that any other school district employees have had a simular experience, paid for in the name of a safety meeting, mandatory of coarse.

  22. 25

    zip spews:

    Erik @ 22

    This is one issue that has me agreeing with Don. For the same reason I support the concept of Goldy’s Homestead Exemption.

    Let’s not forget that property taxes are a big hurt on many homeowners (and renters) on a fixed income. Holding those who would raise those taxes to a super-high standard is an imperfect way to protect the interests of those who would be hurt by property tax increases.

  23. 26

    Erik spews:

    The point was made that there are alot of non-home owners voting for tax hikes because they believe that it won’t affect them.

    I agree. But how is there so high a barrier to find a local school by local voters when other taxes are raised by a simple majority.

    In order to support the 60 percent rationale, there needs to be something that differentiates this tax from others what would make higher pass rate rational.

    (let me guess, the retort is “make all taxes require a 60 percent vote”)

  24. 27

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    The other issue to consider is that many seniors who qualify for the Senior Property Tax Exemption pay little or NONE of any Levy’s they pass. This is another good reason for the 60%. You would be surprised at how many Seniors have figured out ways to get that exemption…like putting assets in a trust or….cheating (all Seniors have to do is apply and send an annual copy of tax return to Assessor—-HOWEVER ASSESSOR HAS NO ABILITY TO AUDIT OR CHALLENGE ANYONE WHO CLAIMS THE SENIOR EXEMPTION.

    We need to retain the 60% supermajority unless some of the Seniors and others with EXEMPTIONS are not allowed to vote. Easy to vote for tax increases that have no impact on yourself.

  25. 28

    spews:

    Oh look – Josef’s here trying to promote his pro-Rossi blog again:

    Josef @ 18:

    has the BREAKING NEWS! Over 1,000+ felons voted in the election!

    That doesn’t have anything to do with Goldy’s post. You are no better than a troll. If you want to comment on this thread, then just talk about school levies. Don’t try to slip in any of that promotional garbage.

    I fully support the elimination of the 60% requirement. It’s ridiculous and it needs to be eliminated. If it takes a simple majority to cut taxes, it should take a simple majority to raise them. End of story. I’m tired of seeing the results of a vote where 59% of voters support a local tax increase and it fails.

  26. 29

    G Davis spews:

    An educated youth doesn’t benefit all of us?

    Where are all you landed gentry going to get your employees from if we don’t have an educated workforce?

    Do educated kids get in as much trouble as the uneducated? I’m sure there’s a study or two about that hangin’ around…

    That said, I am not sold on the simple majority vote for school levys. I am also not sold on the one shot and you’re out approach either.

    There’s an amount of wasteful, misplaced spending in the school system. I like it that they have to justify going above and beyond what the state allocates. I like it that they have to pare off some of the fat when the first levy fails.

    I could listen to a simple majority vote that coincide with major elections to ensure higher turnout though.

  27. 30

    Chuck spews:

    Do educated kids get in as much trouble as the uneducated?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If you really want to see kids in less trouble then get the laws changed to support custodial dads, that has a direct relationship to kids getting in less trouble….oh I forgot that isnt a PC idea, sorry to suggest it.

  28. 31

    Don spews:

    Josef @ 14

    “Over 1,000+ felons voted in the election! Evil, evil, evil.”

    Yeah, especially if it turns out they voted for Dino.

  29. 34

    Josef the Dinocrat in Marummy Country spews:

    28 – Comment by Mount Olympus Hiker— 2/22/05 @ 11:24 pm

    I added that as important breaking news, NWPortal. I want a shield for property owners before your Educrat pals take away people’s land.

    There needs to be fairness and equity here – that is what I tried to address @ 6.

  30. 35

    Dave spews:

    It’s no wonder the kids can’t tell you when the Battle of Gettysburg, or Midway, or WWII was fought, but they know MLK’s and Malcom X’s life story and are big into Kwanzaa.

    People who don’t know when Gettysburg, Midway or WWII were fought don’t know about MLK, Malcom X or Kwanza either because they have no desire to learn period. Hey JCH, why not put your words to the test? Come out to Sedro-Woolley and stop by a double-wide trailer out on Grip Rd sometime. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a 4×4 parked out front, pot grow lights leaking through the basement windows, and a Confederate flag flying high off the front porch. Should be easy to find a Rossi supporter around here who voted against a school levy and knows everything about US and world history. Good luck!

  31. 36

    Chuck spews:

    double-wide trailer out on Grip Rd sometime. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a 4×4 parked out front, pot grow lights leaking through the basement windows, and a Confederate flag flying high off the front porch>>>>

    Dave, Dave , Dave, that was the most rediculous statement I have seen in quite a while. Just because you saw something at the movies doesnt make it real (I saw without a paddle as well). Kind of like my saying that you liberals need to keep your crankster freinds out of our community…now I know a crankster doesnt vote Rossi! How does it feel?

  32. 38

    swatter spews:

    Hey guys, I am middle class and I own a small commercial building under $1 million (er, the bank does but I get to pay the taxes), so how does the Homestead Act benefit me? It doesn’t and hurts me.

    The school levy simple majority idea still hurts me. What riled me was the comment about all the million of subsidies the Democrats gave Boeing. It seemed to me that I was being put in that same box, but I have not seen dime one from this State government.

    Again, this is another attempt to rob from the middle class and give to the poor. Bravo, Dems!!! Bravo!!!

    Easy money to the Dems and their followers it seems. School levies need to be earned not inherited. 60% makes sense!!!

  33. 39

    Dave spews:

    Dave, Dave , Dave, that was the most rediculous statement I have seen in quite a while. Just because you saw something at the movies doesnt make it real (I saw without a paddle as well). Kind of like my saying that you liberals need to keep your crankster freinds out of our community…now I know a crankster doesnt vote Rossi! How does it feel?

    The statement was intentionally ridiculous as a sarcastic mirror to the suggestion that teachers would bias their content towards stereotypical examples like Kwanza and Malcom X. Instead of insulting the professional integrity of teachers I think they should be commended for the work they do.

  34. 40

    JCH spews:

    Guye.Get “guvment” out of “education”, period. Let parents decide what education their kids should, or shouldn’t have. Today we spend $10,000 per kid per year, and the kids are NOT educated. Sure, I can hear the teacher’s union howl from Hawaii, but it’s time to get real.

  35. 42

    G Davis spews:

    Changing the subject doesn’t contribute to conversation.

    Custodial dads is an interesting subject worthy of it’s own conversation, but it does little to address the overall question of how to fund schools or if funding benefits all of us.

    This me, me, me BS is really depressing. Don’t tax me, let someone else take care of it.

    Well funded schools, basic health care for everyone, a floor that none of us will ever fall through are all sound societal issues. Without them, we as a society would suffer financially not to mention philosophically.

    That said, I still like the idea that the schools need to work hard for the extra monies they ask for via levys. If that were not the case there would be less checks on the pork involved in any system as large as they.

  36. 43

    Don spews:

    Chuck @ 33

    I think that should be decided case-by-case without a gender bias. But dads who want custody should understand what they’re getting into, and should seek custody for better reasons than not wanting to pay child support. During a period of difficulty in my own marriage, I was the custodial parent because my wife was unwilling and unable to fulfill the parenting role, so I have personal experience with being a sole parent and it’s not easy believe me. You don’t have a life of your own, your entire schedule (and budget) revolves around work and child(ren). If a dad has the right motives and what it takes to be a single parent, then he should try to work out an agreement with the mother, because it will be a tough sell in court if she’s opposed to the idea. But there certainly are some mothers who don’t want the burden, or can’t be the custodial parent for various reasons.

  37. 44

    Don spews:

    swatter @ 38

    “What riled me was the comment about all the million of subsidies the Democrats gave Boeing. It seemed to me that I was being put in that same box, but I have not seen dime one from this State government. Again, this is another attempt to rob from the middle class and give to the poor. Bravo, Dems!!! Bravo!!!”

    It riled me, too, but when it comes to robbing the middle class to give to corporations, the main difference between Democrats and Republicans is the Republicans are more prolific and efficient at it. The Boeing deal was a real dilemma, though. Personally I suspect Locke got skinned by the poker sharks at Boeing, but maybe not — maybe Boeing really would have taken their jobs elsewhere if Wash. didn’t pony up. And if that happened, you can bet the Republicans would have raised a great hue and cry amid much gnashing of teeth over the loss of jobs and why didn’t those sluggish Democrats do more to keep Boeing in our state blah blah blah. Let’s face it, Boeing gets special deals on taxes and subsidies &c., but they’re our state’s biggest private employer and do you really want to let somebody else snatch that business away from us? Nowadays ALL the states trip over each other trying to outdo everyone else to attract the big companies and plants, and if you want the good-paying manufacturing jobs those companies provide, you have to play the game too. So before you go off on the Democrats about the Boeing deal, ask yourself whether Dino wouldn’t have done the same thing if he’d been in office. You can bet the ranch on it.

  38. 45

    Richard Pope spews:

    They should eliminate local school levies altogether. State constitution says that public schools should be supported by the state. If local school levies are needed, then that means that state support is not sufficient. It is grossly unfair to children to treat them differently based on how much taxable property per student is located in their school district. Some poor district in eastern Washington might have five or six times as many students per million dollars of taxable property as a rich district like Mercer Island or Bellevue. The children in the poorer districts will not get as good of an education as the children in richer districts as a result. Increase the state property tax to the appropriate level and eliminate local school levies.

  39. 46

    Don spews:

    JCH @ 40

    “Guye.Get “guvment” out of “education”, period. Let parents decide what education their kids should, or shouldn’t have. Today we spend $10,000 per kid per year, and the kids are NOT educated. Sure, I can hear the teacher’s union howl from Hawaii, but it’s time to get real.”

    No, the problem is too many parents with an agenda badgering the schools over what education their kids should, or shouldn’t, get (emphasizing “shouldn’t”). Seems to me our kids would get a better education for less cost if school boards and administrations didn’t have to spend so much time catering to parents, half of whom are nut jobs. What does it cost taxpayers to fight endless battles over whether “Huckleberry Finn” should be banned from the school library? Over evolution vs. creationism? How much time do boards and principals waste on book burners and flat-earthers? THAT is why you have so damn much school bureaucracy. Don’t misunderstand; I’m not against parents having a saying in their kids’ education; I’m only against stupid, ignorant parents who insist on imposing their stupidity and ignorance on everybody else’s kids too.

  40. 47

    Don spews:

    RP @ 45

    Agreed, and you have concisely explained WHY the state constitution makes basic education the state’s responsibility and not that of local jurisdictions. It’s a reflection (and direct result) of our state’s populist heritage. As I stated above, the solution is full state funding of basic education, not making it easier to pass local levies. We should NOT let the Legislature get away with passing a simple majority rule for local levies in lieu of coming up with state funding. That road leads to educational inequality based on the wealth or poverty of the local school district.

  41. 49

    Chuck spews:

    Don@43
    As it is now Don, many mothers (note I said many not all, or most) fight for custody and very strict control over visitation just to hold it over the fathers head and make him suffer financially. What is the difference between that and your senario of the father wanting “out of child support” which is VERY seldom the case. Did you also know that percentages of deadbeat Moms is like ten fold that of deadbeat Dads? The Dads just dont bother with enforcing it (Im guilty of that). And really it isnt off subject, because it was pointed out that education kept kids out of jail, I was pointing out that there are more direct as well as cheaper ways of accomplishing that goal, not that I am against education.

  42. 50

    Chuck spews:

    Don@46
    No, the problem is too many parents with an agenda badgering the schools over what education their kids should, or shouldn’t,

    Actually, Don the schools need to really concentrate on the basics, literally the 3 Rs kinda thing, if you can read and understand, put it in writing and do the math you can conquer the world. So when the schools can EXEL at those simple things, then come back and we can talk about evolution, religion, passing out condoms and crap like that. Show me outstanding results on the basic 3!

  43. 51

    bby spews:

    Afree 100 per cent.

    The no tax, let someone else pay for all those nice govt. services like public school, sherriffs and fire protection- to say nothing of roads, bridges and libraries —- let them go to hell.

    Cheap living.

    Why does a school levy face a bigger burden than candidates who make policy for every voter……on every topic.

    Right on Goldy. I have never know a single person that voted against any school levy. Going back to my childhood in Bellevue schools. But then, most of my friends are well educated commies, and fags, and other assorted Democrats. WE like public schools and educated populace.

  44. 52

    Chuck spews:

    Also, if you take the sports out of public schools and place them where they belong with the parks and recreation department then you could garner even more school support AND a far better education at the same time.

  45. 53

    Chuck spews:

    You see most arent against education, just the bullshit that is attempted to be passed off as education, like drivers education, a program that has been proven to have NO impact upon a persons driving habits or accident rate.

  46. 54

    Chuck spews:

    bby@51
    sherriffs and fire protection- to say nothing of roads, bridges and libraries —- let them go to hell.

    OK it takes about 4 hours for a sheriff to respond in Roy, so we do it our selves, I live down a private drive and am required to maintain it ay MY expense for emergency vehicles, if a pothole forms in the road outside my house I hike myself out with a shovel, the bridges can be done for less if you get rid of “prevailing wage” laws, the library system is antiquated and needs to be put on the net for less expensive wider and more convinient use by all.

    Now, when you call the sheriff Im guessing it takes 10-15 minuits for response, I assume the city, county or state paves and repairs your road and comes out to patch the potholes when you call them, now explain why I should have to pay at the same level as you in taxes when you get much more than I while riding on my back…oh and I forgot, I have to drive 9 miles to take the Pierce County Transit bus that I pay the same level as everyone else for.

  47. 55

    Don spews:

    chuck @ 49

    I’m well aware that mothers usually get custody and the legal system discriminates against custody-seeking dads. As for visitation and financial considerations, the folks who work for the state enforcing child support have a phrase for it, it’s called “Rent a Kid,” and it’s been observed there’s usually a direct correlation between nonpayment of support by the father and withholding of visitation by the mother. In other words, when the kids don’t have food or shoes, mothers will try anything that works. Including sex — you know, come on over Saturday night, but bring $100 or don’t bother to come. That phenomenon has been observed by those who work in the child support business, too. Some guys don’t understand anything that isn’t between their legs and that’s what it takes to get them to feed and clothe their kids. As for “deadbeat moms” versus “deadbeat dads,” chromosomes never kept anybody from being an asshole who wanted to be, but child support agency statistics show men are more likely than women to default on their child support payments. When the women do it, they’re more likely to be apologetic and offer an excuse like they’re unemployed or something, whereas you rarely see an apologetic “deadbeat dad” and their excuse is more likely to pay they couldn’t afford the child support because they had to make the payments on their new pickup truck. Ask any child support caseworker who he/she would rather collect from, a mother or a father, and be prepared to get an earful. Sorry, friend, but most of the child support nonpayment problem emanates from dads, not moms.

  48. 56

    Chuck spews:

    Don@55
    Don you are wrong about the men, percentages are women dont pay by a ten fold, really. The caseworker deals with mostly men simply because of the sheer number of cases where the woman gets custody and the man is assigned to pay. Also when men get custody of the kids they simply thank their lucky stars and go on and dont bother getting support enforcement involved. Another thing is if a woman remarries and says she is a “stay at home mom” she usually skates the child support requirement in this state (and her new husband isnt required to pay as it isnt his debt, to which I agree) But now if a non custodial dad either is out of work or decides to be a “stay at home dad” the judge will put him in jail for non conformity.

  49. 58

    Dave spews:

    And not too many doublewides have basements

    Some that are permanently set on a foundation and have a pot growing op do.

    You really haven’t been out to Sedro-Woolley before, have you Chuck?

  50. 60

    Chuck spews:

    Discussion was BASEMENTS not foudations. Very few mobiles or modulars sit on BASEMENTS, wake up guy!

  51. 61

    Dave spews:

    Mobiles that are permanently set on a foundation that includes a basement have basements, especially when the basement was installed specifically for growing pot. Again, you really havent’ been out to Sedro-Woolley before, have you Chuck?

  52. 62

    G Davis spews:

    LOL…basements/slabs, deadbeat moms/dads…surely goes a long way toward fixing the school systems… ;0

    Dave, go to any place in Seattle and look in big old rental houses…lots of high electric bills there!

    Chuck, hang those moms out to dry for not supporting their kids. Maybe the deadbeat dads could sit on the jury to sentence them to their due!

    In the meantime, I’d like to mobilize the general populace to go to school board meetings, volunteer in their local schools whether they have children or not. See what’s actually happening in those bastions of education and work to correct the many flaws that exist.

    It’s quite an eye opener.

    I still disagree with a simple majority unless it’s maybe only in major election years. To many weird things slip through by small advocacy groups who do mobilize to get their pet project through.

    Side note: Sports are largely user fee supported these days. That is any sport not football and basketball…gotta keep the good old boy WASP populace happy.. ;0

  53. 63

    Chuck spews:

    Side note: Sports are largely user fee supported these days.>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The user fee on sports is a mere pittance of the actual cost, most of the money comes out of school levy funds.

  54. 64

    G Davis spews:

    Beg to differ with you Chuck. We pay 400 entry fee for lacrosse and soccer, plus carry all the transportation costs ourselves.

    Girls basketball is starting to charge small fees but the *minor* sports (which have the most participants btw) pay their own way.

    We do use the fields and opt into the school’s liability insurances, but the majority of the entry fees go toward assuaging those costs.

    The dear daughter is deeply involved in sports…I make comments only out of the experience I’ve had of late writing check after check for her to do so. She works to pay for her club soccer though. That’s another 1000-2000 a year depending on the sport. She also pays all her own transportation costs to and from those events.

    Sports are costly these days…unless of course you play football or basketball (especially boys).