The Seattle Times editorial board is attempting to use the endorsement season to send a message to legislators on education. And that message is clear: “We hate teachers!”
5th LD House: Incumbent Rep. Chad Magendanz (R)
Magendanz’s campaign focuses on ways for the state to fulfill the state Supreme Court’s McCleary education-funding order… He is a clear choice over his two Democratic opponents, education activist David Spring and Colin Alexander, who lack Magendanz’s experience.
31st LD Senate: Cathy Dahlquist (R) over incumbent Senator Pam Roach (R)
Roach says she voted against a critically important teacher-evaluation bill this year because she was angered by her leadership’s push for the Dream Act. She refused in an editorial board meeting to say whether she supports the Washington Education Association’s costly Initiative 1351, which would require the hiring of thousands of additional teachers, even in upper grades where benefits of lower class size are unclear. Dahlquist takes the responsible position on these issues: yes for reform, no on the WEA’s unfunded mandate.
31st LD House: Drew Stokesbary (R) over Mike Sando (D)
Stokesbary’s consistent positions offer a contrast with Democrat Mike Sando, who appears conflicted. A schoolteacher and a member of the Enumclaw City Council, Sando draws inspiration and financial support from the Legislature’s moderate-Democrat faction. Yet as a local teachers’ union president, he supports the Washington Education Association’s budget-busting Initiative 1351, and he cannot suggest where to find the necessary billions. In contrast, Stokesbary deplores the measure and embraces education-reform measures.
33rd LD Senate: Incumbent Senator Karen Keiser (D)
In 2012, [Keiser] supported a bill that would have streamlined health-insurance offerings for teachers and might have saved them money — despite opposition from the Washington Education Association, which benefits from the current system. … While Keiser disappointingly opposed including student test scores in teacher evaluations , neither challenger has the civic résumé or the knowledge required to take on a lawmaker of her stature.
33rd LD House: Incumbent Rep. Mia Gregerson (D)
For instance, she told The Times’ editorial board she would have voted for a controversial bill mandating the use of test scores in teacher evaluations — if Democratic-party leaders had allowed it to come to the floor of the House — despite opposition from the state teachers’ union.
37th LD House: Daniel Bretzke (R) over incumbent Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D)
While Santos should be focused on the Legislature meeting its court-mandated obligations to fully fund education, she wants to make the challenge worse. She supports Initiative 1351, the teachers union-backed measure that requires class sizes across all grades to be reduced, the hiring of thousands more teachers and building of more classrooms. Yet, there is no funding mechanism in sight.
37th LD Senate: Pramila Jayapal (D)
Jayapal should strive for independence on issues that might not always appease the many liberal and labor groups that have endorsed her, including Fuse Washington, four separate SEIU unions and the Washington Education Association. On education, she must remember the Legislature’s top priority is to fix a broken system, not to prop up unfunded mandates.
1st LD House: Edward Barton (R) over incumbent Rep. Luis Moscoso (D)
On the critical issue of education, Barton is rightly skeptical of the state Supreme Court’s heavy-handed education-funding mandate, but advocates for additional funding through the so-called levy swap proposal, which has been advanced by some key House Democrats. But his independence contrasts with Moscoso, a two-term Democrat, who indicated he defers to House Democratic leadership on key education funding — the most fundamental issue facing the Legislature. Every elected official needs to be en pointe.
32nd LD Senate: Chris Eggen (D) over incumbent Senator Maralyn Chase (D)
[Eggen] is skeptical of the expense and mechanics of Initiative 1351, which would reduce classroom size with no revenue attached. He also understands the need for a workable role for student test scores in teacher evaluations and eligibility for federal funding.
And no, I’m not cherry-picking. Those are all nine legislative endorsements published so far, and the only one that doesn’t implicitly attack teachers, their union, and their interests is the Magendanz endorsement. But in case you’re wondering, yes, Magendanz opposes the WEA-backed class-size reducing I-1351, which is the litmus test of all litmus tests for the Seattle Times: “This seems like it is serving the adults in our education system,” said Magendanz on TVW. And by “adults,” he means “teachers.”
It is also worth noting that the editors have urged voters to toss out three of the five Democratic incumbents as punishment for supporting teachers—endorsing one Democratic and two Republican challengers. The only Republican incumbent they haven’t endorsed is bat-shit-crazy Senator Pam Roach—who refused to state a position on I-1351—and they endorsed another Republican in her stead.
So yes, legislative hopefuls, that was the editorial board’s secret phrase: “No on I-1351.” Congratulations to those of you who passed the test.