Re: “Superintendent’s office won’t comply with Gregoire’s budget-cut order” (TNT, 9-29).
In the article, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn maintains that cuts to full-day kindergarten and class-size reduction for high-poverty schools, among others, are unconstitutional. So he is refusing to cut his agency’s budget by 10 percent, even though Gov. Chris Gregoire has ordered all state agencies to cut their budgets that much.
I think that Dorn has a leg to stand on. Let us look at our history. In 1977, our Legislature passed the Basic Education Act, under which the state took on the duty of fully funding basic education. Around the same time our Supreme Court decided the case of Seattle School District v. the State of Washington.
The court held that the state has a duty to fully fund basic education. To accomplish this goal, sufficient funds would be required from “dependable and regular tax sources.”
I realize that we are in the middle of a severe recession. But educating our citizens is a duty we cannot shirk. If we continue to vote down revenue-raising initiatives session after session, we will not meet our responsibilities.
Nobody likes paying taxes, but we have to be adults about our situation.