All in all, the Equity in Education Coalition is pleased that the Washington State Supreme Court will retain jurisdiction over the McCleary case. Though the state is moving towards fully funding education, it is clear to us that they are falling short of building a just and thriving Washington.
To us, fully funding education entails securing opportunities for the growth and success of each and every child in Washington. This necessarily means caring for all of our children from cradle to career.
Since 1) the State did not fulfill its obligation to fully fund education by 2018 and 2) the Court decided to maintain their 2018 deadline, the state must come up with $1 billion in revenue by the start of the next school year. The problem is that Washington does not have an equitable way to increase revenue.
Because of our upside down tax code, we fear that that the revenue needed to fund education will be poached from social services that our kids rely on. If we cut food subsidies, affordable housing, healthcare, and other programs our kids rely on, then we are not supporting the education of all children, but actually preventing some of our children from learning.
Bottom-line: funding the state’s education plan should not depend on cutting social services that allow our kids to learn. Funding education should not widen Washington’s opportunity gap.
Now more than ever, it is important for us to find other sources of revenue, specifically sources that do not inexcusably burden low income communities and communities of color. It is high time corporations and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes, for outdated tax loopholes to close, and the state to fix our regressive tax code.
For EEC’s full statement, On McCleary: Fix Tax Code to Fully Fund Education