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The Hole Deepens

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Washington ponders how to pay for smaller classes

The Eugene Register Guard

Voters in Washington state (sic) had only three statewide ballot measures to decide Nov. 4 and two of them…drew national attention because they concerned firearms…

However, it’s the third initiative, 1351, that’s likely to prove most vexing for Washington voters — and taxpayers. It requires the state’s public schools to limit their class sizes to 17 students for kindergarten through third grade and to 25 students for grades four through 12, with limits of 15 students and 22 students, respectively, for schools in low-­income neighborhoods…

Although Initiative 1351 attracted little attention outside Washington, it generated a ferocious battle within the state, with the teachers’ unions leading the charge for a “yes” vote…Virtually every major newspaper in the state recommended a “no” vote, with The Bellingham Herald calling the initiative a “funding black hole.”

That’s because the measure doesn’t say where the money will come from to implement the smaller class sizes…

In addition to requiring hiring more teachers — possibly as many as 15,000 — the measure requires increased student support staff, including counselors, teaching assistants and librarians. The Office of Financial Management estimated that the initiative will add $4.7 billion to the cost of elementary and secondary education over the phase-in period…

We Respond & Your Comments

We’re shocked! Shocked! You mean somebody has to pay for this? Who on Earth could be against smaller class sizes? Can’t we just raise taxes on the rich? How about corporations? Just take it from them! How about millionaires?

Yes, Dear Readers, somebody has to pay for everything – no matter how good it sounds. No matter if politicos call it an “investment.” Even if it’s “for the children.” And that “someone” is you.

So we snicker while we watch to see how our neighbors to the north will find the $4.7 billion they’ll need to fund this “sounds good…feels good” boondoggle. And we take this opportunity to remind ourselves that the government has only one source for getting dollars. As readers of this publication know – that source is the money you worked to earn.


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