Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Collection of Thoughts About Levy Equalization and Small School Districts

Thanks, Seattle Times.
Say goodbye to levy equalization red counties, and a whole host of stuff you are demanding that you don't want.

Meanwhile in Seattle, we passed our school levy. Liberals in Seattle, my hometown, have to accept the fact that some people are demanding to be dirt poor and stupid.

The schools in my district are quite fine, thank you. I would be willing to pay more in taxes to make them better. The tired arguments about money making no difference make great generalizations, but only that. My solution: get rid of levy equalization. That would allow people who value eductaion to tax themselves in order to support it locally. Why should I have to support schools in areas where the population is clearly unwilling to support their own? This would also allow for more accountability. If the local school board does not deliver, then I can choose not to financially support them. This may allow for more local reform.

Of course this would mean that some districts would suffer. That may force the realization that some of the most virulant anti-tax communities are also some of the most heavily subsidized. Oh well. perhaps some good can come out of it.

Elections have consequences. Eastern Washington does not approve of any form of socialism. The Legislature must stop forcing these levy equilization funds on Eastern Washington districts that don't want them. Stop the socialism now.

Get rid of this program, the people there want to live in an area with no taxes, let them suffer the consequences of getting bad services like public education. We in Seattle shouldn't have to approve funding on our schools and then have our tax dollars used to support schools in areas where the people don't think they need to pay any taxes.

I agree with those people who say that we should end the levy equalization program. People need to realize that if they want quality education--- we have to find a way to pay for it. In other words, you can't approve 1107, and vote down 1098 without there being consequences. You don't want a state income tax. Fine, that's your right. But don't expect Seattle/King County to pay for your unwillingness to pay.
Three things that gnaw at me:

1) On his blog recently Seattle-area legislator Reuven Carlyle was making some noise about legislative history in the state, notably notions that have come and gone regarding only returning to the counties those tax dollars that they have contributed to Olympia. That would be a coup de grace for so many of our rural counties.

2) In all of Eastern Washington now there are only three state legislators from the Democratic party, and they're all from the 3rd LD--downtown Spokane.

3) If Kelly Linville goes down--she's the current head of the House Ways and Means Committee--that would put either Mark Ericks of Seattle or Pat Sullivan of Covington in South King County in the driver's seat. Auburn gets a good amount of LEA. Seattle doesn't.

It's going to be a tough year.


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