School districts have once again been forced to play local levy roulette with the lives of all our children hanging in the balances. It is remarkable that the citizens of Washington State, burdened with the antidemocratic and antiquated requirements of the sixty percent super majority, so often manage to muster the support required. All districts and their students are not so fortunate. So many come very close, and lose to a minority -- who control the majority. These districts stand to lose, not only the levy monies, but the L.E.A. (Local Effort Assistance) revenues from the state that come only to those who pass their levies. Local and L.E.A. revenues routinely amount to 15 to 20% of the total district budget. All Our Children thanks true citizens who have embraced the responsibility to give something back to America by investing in our future.
At present, the Washington State legislature is once again taking up the issue of a balanced budget. As the question of new revenue sources vs. spending cuts is resolved, the needs of our kids and the most vulnerable among us must come first. Every rational and compassionate member of society knows this principle. We act on it in our families and communities each day. It is time for enlightened elected representatives at all levels to have the wisdom to see our natural priorities and to summon the courage to act. It is also time for the rest of us to back them up.
After state legislators and the governor have acted, school administrators and board members will grapple with the increasing headaches of school finance. One in 8 students (12.5% state wide) in Washington is in the special needs population. Many administrators, board members and others are under the impression that the special services programs in their districts run large deficits. Please click on http://www.allourchildrenwa.org/Alerts.htm for a more balanced view of special needs finance. Be certain to forward this ALERT MESSAGE to those in your address book who need this vital information.
William D. Perdue, Ph.D.
All Our Children of Washington