I went to public schools in Lake Forest Park and Shoreline, and attended the University of Washington. My children will go to our neighborhood schools. I am an ardent believer in public education and my decisions as a legislator would be driven by the following principles:
*Healthy children are ready to learn. This means that we need to preserve a reasonable social safety net to ensure that all kids are ready to learn when they come to school each day. From a policy standpoint, it means advocating for both education programs and social service programs -- they cannot be delinked.
*Reading, writing, arithmetic and so much more. Reading and math skills are extremely important but so is art, music, science, civics and physical education. All students deserve access to a well-rounded education, not just those in wealthy school districts or neighborhoods.
*Public schools preserve our democracy. Our public schools are precious resources for all kids. We can support innovation and rigor while at the same time protecting and supporting our neighborhood schools.
*Support teachers. Teachers do one of the most important jobs in the world, educating our kids. We need to support them by compensating them fairly, protecting their right to bargain collectively, and ensuring that they have the training and resources they need to do their job well.
If elected to represent the 46th District, I will fight to fundamentally change the way we fund education in Washington by helping people connect to the political process, and ensuring that government is accountable and efficient. Specifically, this means:
*Building coalitions. In order to find lasting solutions, we need to bring everyone to the table, establish trust, and move toward cooperation. On the education funding front, perhaps it means putting together a business-labor coalition that includes sectors facing shortages of qualified Washingtonians, such as the health care and software industries.
*Grassroots power. That means making sure labor unions and other advocacy groups with grassroots membership have seats at the table. It also means doing the good,old-fashioned work of community organizing -- talking and listening to our neighbors and community organizations.
*Clear-cut goals. We need to establish what our taxes should pay for, how government is working to use those tax dollars efficiently, and messages that resonate with voters. Voters care about education, and the more specifically we can communicate how their tax dollars will be used, the more likely we are to receive their support.