Letters to the Editor

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ELECTION: Tacoma mayor’s odd endorsement

Letter by Carol L. Gollihur, Tacoma on Oct. 4, 2012 at 9:04 am | No Comments »
October 4, 2012 9:04 am

I was delighted to read Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland’s endorsement of the public charter school measure, Initiative 1240 (Viewpoint, 9-30). It’s encouraging to see that she has joined the ground-breaking bipartisan movement that seeks to put students first.

I understand that charter schools won’t be a silver bullet. They must be combined with other measures such as rewarding our best teachers, especially those who volunteer to work in the most challenging environments. We now have the opportunity to review successful charter schools from around the country and include in Washington charters only the aspects that will encourage student achievement, especially for families who have kids in struggling schools.

I do, however, question Strickland’s endorsement for governor. While she is quick to encourage voters to vote yes on I-1240, she endorses the candidate who will block its implementation.

One of Jay Inslee’s top contributors is the state teachers’ union, the Washington Education Association – which spends thousands of dollars on ads opposing and attacking I-1240. We cannot afford to have this vital progress shoved aside at the whim of Inslee’s donors, which is sure to happen if he becomes governor.

As a concerned parent and constituent, I wish to respectfully encourage Strickland to join the ever-increasing number of mayors throughout our state in endorsing the candidate who can effectively and enthusiastically implement this much-needed reform for our children. To endorse Inslee makes any support of I-1240 lip service. Strickland should endorse and vote for Rob McKenna.

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