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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Not happy with lawmaking session
I’m happy to see that your lawmaking session is ending with no huge amounts of new funding via taxes being appropriated for this states bloated and failing school system. I do not support any additional funding being given to any form of education in this state until education can prove they have earned it. That is not happening and it is the problem with the system. Everyone needs to open their eyes wide to see, take note, and reform the system we have that is designed to fail, thus, increasing the demand for more money each year---greed---plain and simple.
Let me state a few facts to support things you will read here:
1. It is ludicrous that higher education can raise their tuition rates at will and claim they have to have more money. Why? It is because they have multi million dollar salary and benefits packages they have to pay their Profs. Incidentally, the benefit packages are funded by our tax dollars, not from their salaries. As an example UW just boasted in the media how the pay their football coach $2.7 mil a year with money from ticket sales from the football games with no comment on what the remainder of that money is used for. Perhaps the coaches pay could be cut $1.7 mil a year and that ticket money could be used to lower tuition, cost of books etc rather than demanding lawmakers give them more money supplied from more taxes. Additionally, huge amounts of tax dollars can be saved by stopping the funding of higher education for each and every non-American citizen in all of our state colleges. It is not an entitlement in our U.S. Constitution or the Washington State Constitution for any illegal alien to come into this state and suck up taxpayer money, receive a free college education with tax money, which was paid through tax collection for the education of our students from Kindergarten through college.
2. There is absolutely no accountability for any school in this state to demonstrate and be held accountable for the spending of specifically appropriated, unconstitutional levy funds, and prove the funds are spent on items as appropriated. For example, a school district is given $5 mil on a levy for two roof replacements (never done), the same district is given $5 mil a second time on a levy for the same two roof replacements (never done), this same district is given the same $5 mil a third time for the same two roof replacements along with millions in funds on a levy for five additional roof projects that have yet to be started and probably won’t ever be started if the district runs true to it’s past performance.
3. In regards to benefit packages, this taxpayer liability on taxpayers is unsustainable. Teachers and state workers seem to think, for some reason that their high cost benefit items are an entitlement that is required to be paid for them by the taxpayers. It is not the job of taxpayers to pay premiums for employees, in any agency of this state as a tax liability. For example, the U.S. government supplies multiple medical plans for its employees to select from for their family needs and the employee pays the cost of that premium coverage from their own salary. The same applies to each employee’s life insurance, dental, vision, drugs, etc with each being and employee pay responsibility not a taxpayer liability, as it exists now for state workers and education people in this state. It is well documented that teacher benefit packages are on average five times higher, over and above, any employee benefit packages for any job in the private sector. These expensive plans are dictated by unions, allowed by lawmakers, funded by lawmakers, and paid for with funds taken from household incomes by lawmakers. Lawmakers need to come into compliance in these areas and implement the federal laws to deny state agencies the right to negotiate salaries, life insurance premiums, health insurance premiums, sick leave days, annual leave days, etc in order to bring these benefit funding abuses that are unsustainable to a stop. States across the U.S. are taking these steps now and it is time that Washington State steps up to do the same. If these benefits and salaries are not brought under control this state and counties within this state will start entering into bankrupt status because the taxpayers will not be able to fund union demands. Lawmakers should be aware of these facts, you are dealing with trying to fund this folly right now, and know that education is the largest, failing money pit within this state. Likewise, education is demanding increased billions of dollars more from lawmakers this lawmaking session, to further increase and enhance their downward spiraling level of failure.
4. Then we have our Washington State Supreme Court Justices who wrote a blank check decision for education. In April of 2009 both the House and the Senate amended a law definition that involves education by increasing the vagueness of the definition and turning it into a “catch 22 law.” A law where any thing can be thrown into it and demand more funding on that basis for education under the guise of “basic education.” This is the part of our state law on education that the Justices used to write McCleary v Washington on granting the WEA and each and every local education association the unlimited right to demand unlimited funds from lawmakers and each and every taxpayer in the name of “basic education.” The Justices raised some interesting illegal acts being pulled off by school districts and supported by a lot of very ignorant voters who continue to support their local schools. A very major point with the Justice’s McCleary decision is that any person reading it should notice very quickly that the Justice’s failed to list one single aspect of “basic education” that lawmakers failed to fund
5. At this point in time lawmakers should not add one single dollar to education until the state’s definition of “basic education” is re-defined to be very specific item by item and the state’s WSSC documents exactly what education items lawmakers are not funding each year. I’m talking about the four subjects, “basic education,” that students are required to know and are tested on for high school graduation, not the printed pot of jibberish in our state’s law called “basic education.” While lawmakers are waiting for these items to be completed there is a multitude of trash curriculum that lawmakers can require each school district to stop spending money on that has nothing to do with basic education but requires increased wasted funds. OSPI will not dump the trash. OSPI takes no responsibility for anything that has to do with running education. Dissolve OSPI and place all education under this state’s Board of Education because it will not be any increased workload on them, based on the long listed of things I have that OSPI states they take no responsibility for, or have no authority over. As documented from OSPI there is very little they do as far as education that can justify the agencies existence and their $9 million a year budget for producing no beneficial education produce.
These are a few of the problems with education, the short list if you will, that needs to be stopped or reformed before teachers receive more salary/benefits and taxpaying citizens are plundered of more funds to support this states monopoly, money pit, education folly as it exists now.
As it was alluded to in a recent media posting----failure to bring educations financial bloat and waste under control will be reflected in the up and coming November elections and every election after that until the present lawmaking crowd in Olympia has been replaced. In my opinion I believe a huge majority of elected agency heads and elected lawmakers in Olympia are/have worked very hard towards justifying their removal at election time. There would be two reasons for this, (a) they overturn voter approved laws, and; (b) they don’t listen to what the people---“your boss”---instructs them to do.
Larry L. Mann | Port Orchard