Schmudget Blog


Statement on Court Ruling in McCleary Case

Posted by bens at Sep 11, 2014 09:42 PM |

In response to today’s Supreme Court ruling in the McCleary case, executive director Remy Trupin issued the following statement:

With today’s ruling, attention now turns to the upcoming legislative session, one of the most important in recent memory.

The State legislature has been held in contempt for the first time in its history and the Court made clear that failure to pass a budget and plan for achieving full funding of basic education by 2018 will result in sanctions or other remedial measures. The message to lawmakers is this: act in 2015 or face a Court that has just issued its last warning.

As our amicus filing articulated, there is no responsible way to meet the funding requirements of McCleary without raising new revenue. We were encouraged that Justice Johnson referenced our brief during the contempt hearing on September 3rd, questioning the value of the hundreds of tax breaks on the state’s books when matched against the priority of educating our children.

Closing wasteful tax loopholes is a good place to start. In the coming months, we look forward to working with lawmakers and advocates to advance the full range of revenue solutions needed to ensure prosperity for all our kids.

New Revenue Needed to Deliver Better Education to All Students

Posted by bens at Sep 03, 2014 08:40 PM |

Today, lawyers for the state will go before justices of the Washington Supreme Court in the latest showdown in the McCleary case on education funding. The Court has ordered state lawmakers to defend their lack of progress on meeting the requirements of the ruling, which calls for billions in new funding for K-12 schools by 2018. They face contempt charges and other possible sanctions.

In August, we filed an amicus brief with the State Supreme Court, making the case that new revenue was needed to adequately fund our schools and invest in a host of other services that kids need to succeed inside and outside the classroom. Ahead of the hearing this afternoon, our executive director Remy Trupin released the following statement:

Raising new revenue is the only responsible way to meet the requirements of the McCleary ruling.
At its core, the McCleary decision is about ensuring that all our kids get a world-class education, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or the zip code they call home.  That requires stronger financial support for K-12 schools, better pay for teachers, and investments in early learning, child care, health care, affordable housing and other services that kids and families need to thrive.
Proposals to fund education without additional revenue are a bad deal for kids and our state.  Following this path would undermine the promise of McCleary by forcing deep cuts in many of the services and supports crucial to influencing success in the classroom, particularly for low-income students and students of color.
Lawmakers can and should meet the requirements of McCleary and invest in other services that kids need to be successful by raising revenue. If they are serious about creating a brighter future for all of our kids, it’s the only way.”

 

The arguments in today's hearing and the ruling to follow will set the tone in the debate over education funding and the state budget during the 2015 legislative session.

We'll continue to track the developments in the McCleary case going forward, as it will determine much about the well-being of our children, communities, and economy in the years to come.

 

Robert Reich at Town Hall September 27th

Posted by bens at Aug 21, 2014 05:13 PM |

Please join us and our partners of the Reclaiming Prosperity series on Saturday, September 27th for a special event with former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. 

Tickets are only $5 at Town Hall. Click here to get yours before they sell out.

Now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, Reich was named one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the 20th century by Time Magazine. He is the author of 13  books including Aftershock and Beyond Outrage, and presented the Sundance award-winning documentary Inequality for All.

Reich recently commended Seattle for leading a long-overdue movement toward a living wage. At Town Hall on September 27th, he will discuss national income inequality trends, the effect these trends are having on the poorest of the poor, how the income gap is “undermining our democracy,” and why Seattle got it right. Reich will be joined by an expert panel for an onstage Q&A.

Click here to get your tickets before they are gone! The program will run from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

We are proud sponsors of the Reclaiming Prosperity series. Additional partners include Citizen University, True Patriot, OneAmerica, Fuse Washington, the Progress Alliance, Working Washington, and Seattle University Law School. 

Statement on McCleary Order: New Revenue Needed For Better Outcomes for Kids

Posted by bens at Jun 13, 2014 09:30 PM |

Executive Director Remy Trupin issued the following statement the State Supreme Court's recent order:

"Yesterday, the State Supreme Court found that the Legislature has failed, once again, to make meaningful progress toward fully funding education by 2018, as per the “McCleary” ruling.  The inability of the Legislature to adequately act in the wake of McCleary is actually a symptom of a larger problem: we cannot make meaningful progress in our state – on education or anything else – until we raise new revenue.   

Providing a quality basic education is the paramount duty of our state, but children need more than just K-12 to thrive.  Early learning, higher education, environmental protections, health and human services, and transportation are all critical to a strong foundation of opportunity for all our residents and a strong economy.  

Some have suggested that we must fund education first without new revenue but the math simply doesn't pencil out. Current revenues are projected to fall short of the amount needed to maintain existing levels of education and other public investments, let alone the $4.5 billion additional needed to meet McCleary and $1 billion more per year for teacher compensation.

After years of deep cuts that have diminished opportunities for kids and hurt our economy, it’s time for policymakers to take a hard look at fixing Washington’s state’s outdated and inequitable tax system. Closing wasteful tax breaks and taxing windfall profits from the sale of corporate stocks and other high-end financial assets, as 42 other states do, would be a good start.

It’s time to face reality.  The solutions are there, we just need the political will. Hopefully the Court’s actions will spur the Legislature to act. Kids can’t afford any more delays.

 

Register Now for Unpacking McCleary at Town Hall

Posted by bens at May 06, 2014 02:25 PM |
Filed under: Education

Addressing Equity, Opportunity, and Funding in Washington State's Education System  
Thursday, May 29th at Town Hall Seattle, 7:30 p.m.

School funding and improving educational outcomes for all our kids are some of the most talked about – and contentious – issues in the state, and will be for years to come. 

We have put together a conversation on May 29th at Town Hall with some of the key voices in the debate as we unpack the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and what it means for the budget and our kids. In particular, we’ll look at options for better funding education and the importance of addressing equity issues from early learning through college. 

Click here to register now. Tickets are $5.

Joining us for the conversation will be:

  • Rep. Ross Hunter, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee;
  • Shawn Lewis, Education Funding Specialist, Washington Education Association;
  • Sharonne Navas, Director, Equity in Education Coalition;
  • Frank Ordway, Government Relations Director, League of Education Voters;
  • Paola Maranan, Executive Director, Children's Alliance (moderator).

In 2012 the State Supreme Court ruled that the state was failing its paramount constitutional duty of funding basic education and ordered the legislature to increase school funding by 2018. Estimates indicate that the legislature will have to come up with at least $4.5 billion in new education funding to meet the decision. 

Two years later, how much progress has been made? How will the state meet is funding requirements for education while also making other critical investments in the state budget? How can we strengthen the entire educational pipeline to ensure better outcomes for all our kids? What is the opportunity gap and how can we better address it? At the event, we’ll begin to unpack some of these crucial questions.

We hope to see you on Thursday, May 29th at Town Hall Seattle.

Tickets are $5. Click here to register.  

A special thank you to our event co-sponsors: Children’s Alliance, Equity in Education Coalition, League of Education Voters, OneAmerica, Poverty Action Network, Progressive Majority Washington, SEIU 925, SEIU 1199NW, Washington Bus, Washington Community Action Network

Reclaiming Prosperity: Gender and Income Inequality

Posted by bens at Apr 30, 2014 10:25 PM |

Does she work harder for the money? The role of gender in income inequality.

Monday, May 19th, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Town Hall Seattle

 

Join Anna Greenberg, Saru Jayaraman and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner for a lively discussion on income inequality, gender, and work — from the impact of tipping to the changing landscape of male and female earning power.

Tickets for this Reclaiming Prosperity series event are $5. Click here to purchase yours today.

Women’s wages are lower than men’s in every U.S. state, but what does income inequality mean for women in the workforce? This discussion will focus on the changing nature of work — and how it affects gender roles, families, and economic security. 

About the speakers:

Anna Greenberg is a leader in the field of political polling, data analytics and micro-targeting at GQRDigital. She was the lead pollster in many successful campaigns including for Mayor Bill de Blasio, State Senator Wendy Davis and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. ROC United has 10,000 members in 19 cities nationwide and organizes restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns and partner with responsible restaurants.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner is an award-winning author, radio host and co-founder and the Executive Director/CEO of MomsRising.org, a million-member grassroots organization working to achieve economic security for all families; to help ensure families, children, and businesses can thrive; and to end discrimination against women and mothers.

Click here to purchase tickets.

 

Join us May 29th: Unpacking McCleary at Town Hall

Posted by bens at Apr 16, 2014 12:05 PM |

 Addressing Equity, Opportunity, and Funding in Washington State's Education System  
Thursday, May 29th at Town Hall Seattle, 7:30 p.m.

School funding and improving educational outcomes for all our kids are some of the most talked about – and contentious – issues in the state, and will be for years to come. 

We are putting together a conversation on May 29th at Town Hall with some of the key voices in the debate as we unpack the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and what it means for the budget and our kids. In particular, we’ll look at options for better funding education and the importance of addressing equity issues from early learning through college. 

In 2012 the State Supreme Court ruled that the state was failing its paramount constitutional duty of funding basic education and ordered the legislature to increase school funding by 2018. Estimates indicate that the legislature will have to come up with at least $4.5 billion in new education funding to meet the decision. 

Two years later, how much progress has been made? How will the state meet is funding requirements for education while also making other critical investments in the state budget? How can we strengthen the entire educational pipeline to ensure better outcomes for all our kids? What is the opportunity gap and how can we better address it? At the event, we’ll begin to unpack some of these crucial questions.

We hope to see you on Thursday, May 29th at Town Hall Seattle.

Tickets are $5. Click here to register.  
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Roxana_BMC_plenary_2016View the Budget Matters 2016 conference plenary, "What's at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and Beyond." Moderated by Ann Dornfeld of KUOW, the plenary features Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year; Lew Moore of the Washington Research Council; Roxana Norouzi of OneAmerica; and Sen. Christine Rolfes. The plenary starts after an intro by Executive Director Misha Werschkul and an intro video by Gov. Inslee.