Washington's paramount duty
Our state Constitution is clear: Education is the "paramount duty" of the state. I believe school funding must reflect this mandate. I support efforts to redefine "basic education" to reflect the realities of today's classrooms and the unique needs of communities.
All children deserve the same opportunities. They deserve the best teachers and the best environment in which to thrive. Our future depends on their success, and we must give them nothing short of what we expect from them- greatness.We must equitably fund education across the state. Levy equalization provides property-poor school districts around the state with funding so that each student has the same opportunity, no matter where they live.
Fund education first
I believe Washington's budget should fund education first. Ensuring education funding as the state's top priority will move us closer to reaching our goal of quality schools that meet the needs of diverse student populations.
Instead of passing down unfunded mandates to our local school districts and foisting the financial burden onto property tax payers through levies, the state should adequately fund the fundamentals, such as student transportation, curriculum and basic education staffing.
Rather than starting trendy experiments, we need to encourage focused, quality education of the basics. This would ensure an educational system that will help students succeed and prepares them for the competitive job market.
We want the best for our children. That starts with a quality education that maintains high standards. Our students can and will meet the challenges we set for them. We must set the bar high and expect the best from every student.
The global marketplace and the high-tech industries in Washington demand highly-skilled workers in job sectors that did not exist even a decade ago.Our students are competing against their peers from other countries and must be challenged today to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.
"Our Government is in place to protect our rights and freedoms, not to protect us from them."~ Dan Griffey