The current Seattle teachers strike is a prime example of the real problem behind education funding in this state.
The Seattle Education Association is demanding the Seattle school board agree to funding levels that the district has absolutely no way of meeting. Meanwhile the state Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature to provide full funding for K-12 education.
Currently, under state law and policy, the :egislature has no control over the terms and conditions that the local districts have agreed to with the local education associations. The solution to this dilemma is to move all responsibility for staffing levels and the associated funding of wages and benefits to the state.
Until this happens we will continue to be faced year after year with the chaos brought on by more than 290 education associations negotiating separate and distinct contracts with local school boards. These contracts and their levies on their face violate the ruling of the Supreme Court on education funding and are most likely unconstitutional.
It’s time for the Legislature to take the big steps necessary to fix the problem, whether those steps remove local districts from funding conversations or change the state constitution and relieve the Legislature of funding responsibility.