Stand for Children in the News

February 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/letters/story/613874.html

EDUCATION: Reform bills deserve WEA support

Published: 02/02/09  12:05 am

JENNIFER BOUTELL: Tacoma

As a parent who has been following state educational funding issues very closely, I was disheartened to see Joe Turner’s Political Buzz blog post (1-28), presenting the Washington Education Association’s challenge to key educational reform bills currently before the Legislature.

The WEA asserts that the Basic Education Task Force bills would eliminate funding for small classrooms and create a No Child Left Behind-type system on the state level. In reality, SB 5444 and HB 1410 would do neither of these things.

What the bills would do is replace the current system of small classroom funding with a permanent commitment to small class sizes through simple formulas based on the number of children in each school. As part of the legislated definition of “basic education,” funding would then be mandated under the state constitution.

In addition to small class sizes, families would benefit from funding for early learning, teacher in-service days and core high school programs. The task force bills would also change the current expensive and ineffective education-based career ladder for teachers to one based on classroom skills. Teachers already receiving compensation based on the existing career ladder would not be affected.

I sincerely hope that as this important legislation moves forward, we can work together with teacher organizations to the benefit of the state’s children. (Boutell is North End coordinator for Stand For Children, a citizen group that lobbies for public education reform and funding.)

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Entry filed under: Media.

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