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School unions, parents unite against I-1033

Post by Joe Turner on Sep. 8, 2009 at 11:20 am with 1 Comment »
September 28, 2009 1:38 pm

Since K-12 funding is the main way the state spends its money, public schools groups are among those who would be most affected by passage of Tim Eyman‘s latest ballot measure, Initiative 1033.

As school starts, education groups unite to defeat Initiative 1033

Eyman’s I-1033 threatens our children’s education — 9/8/09

Contact: Rich Wood, WEA
Kim Howard, Washington State PTA
Lisa Macfarlane, League of Education Voters

As more than 1 million Washington students start public school this month, they face larger class sizes, fewer teachers and less support because of state budget cuts — and Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033 promises to make things even worse.

Teachers, education support staff, parents and school supporters are united in opposing I-1033, which would slash the state budget by nearly $6 billion in the next five years — on top of $1.5 billion in K-12 education cuts already enacted by the state Legislature.

I-1033 threatens education, health care and other basic services. Already, as many as 3,000 teachers and education employees are facing layoffs. The Eyman TABOR plan will take even more resources away from Washington’s classrooms — and Washington’s kids.

Eyman’s TABOR plan is already a proven failure. In 1992 Colorado became the only state in the nation to impose a revenue limit like the one in I-1033. By 2005 things got so bad that Colorado voters — led by a bipartisan coalition of business leaders, teachers, seniors, healthcare providers and firefighters — voted to suspend the law for five years to stop the deterioration of their state.

Under the I-1033-like spending limits in Colorado, funding for K-12 education plummeted, dropping Colorado to 49th in the nation in education funding.

The Washington Education Association, Washington State PTA, Children’s Alliance, Public School Employees of Washington, League of Education Voters, Washington State School Directors Association, UAW Local 4121, SEIU 925 and AFT Washington all oppose I-1033 because of the devastating impact it would have on education and Washington’s students.

“I-1033 would force even deeper funding cuts for our schools, hurting our kids’ chances for a quality education,” said Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association. “Because I-1033 will lock in cuts to education and workforce training, it will hurt Washington’s ability to compete for good jobs.”

“Eyman’s latest initiative, I-1033, is a very bad deal for Washington’s school children,” says Lisa Macfarlane of the League of Education Voters. “At the very time when schools have been forced to slash programs and services and lay off teachers, Eyman wants to take even more support away from our public schools.”

“I-1033 will make it impossible to find the resources necessary to improve our schools — the state should spend more money on K-12 public education, not less” says Scott Allen, president of the Washington State PTA. “I-1033 will force further cuts to important social programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), harming families and children as well as our aging population and the disabled,” adds State PTA Executive Director Bill Williams.

“AFT Washington is opposed to Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033,” said President Sandra Schroeder. “This past session, the state Legislature cut funding to the all of the state’s colleges and universities, while also substantially increasing student tuition. Those cuts have hurt the colleges’ workforce training and degree programs. Eyman’s initiative, if it passes, will make things worse.”

“Thousands of bus drivers, secretaries and teachers’ aides lost their jobs this year due to budget cuts,” says Judi Owens, president of the Public School Employees of Washington. “I-1033 will lead to more cuts, hurting our kids and preventing the economy from recovering.”

Visit www.no1033.com for more information about the No on 1033 campaign.

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Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. timeyman says:

    What’s wrong with going to the voters? It’s a question that I-1033’s opponents can’t/won’t answer

    Like all of our initiatives, I-1033 includes the safety valve of voter approval — under I-1033, if government decides that the automatic increase provided by I-1033 isn’t a big enough increase, they can go to the voters and ask for more.

    Opponents of I-1033 never, ever acknowledge that fact because they can’t/won’t answer this simple question:

    What’s wrong with going to the voters?

    With I-601 in 1993, I-695 in 1999, I-747 in 2001, and I-960 in 2007, opponents could never come up with a good response to the safety valve each initiative provided which was “if you need more, ask us.” Not coincidentally, those four initiatives were approved by the voters.

    So rather than providing a bad answer to that question, opponents of I-1033 have decided to go with the ostrich approach and pretend it doesn’t exist. I-1033 provides government with an automatic revenue increase each year of inflation and population growth, the same limit provided by I-601 (that is until Gregoire and Democrats got rid of it in 2005, which led directly to a $9 billion deficit). But if they can convince the voters that more money is needed or wanted, then such voter-approved taxes or fees are exempt from I-1033’s limit.

    Without limits like those in I-1033 (or in I-960 or I-601), the path of least resistence for politicians is to simply raise taxes, jack up fees, artificially inflate property assessments/valuations, use banked capacity to unilaterally increase property taxes above the 1% cap, impose a state income tax, or create new ways to take more of the people’s money.

    With limits like those in I-1033 in effect, then the path of least resistence is to reform government, to prioritize, and to use existing revenues as cost effectively as possible (with the option of going to the voters if they want more).

    This is essential because left to their own devices, predispositions, and instincts, politicians cannot control themselves. They’re like a bunch of kids at Toys R Us — they’ll take it all unless parents are there to remind them “we can’t afford everything.”

    I-1033 gets government off the fiscal roller coaster by completing the renewal of I-601, bringing back the reasonable inflation/population limit. And I-601’s/I-1033’s limit provides for sustainable growth that doesn’t outpace the taxpayers ability to afford it.

    AND IF GOVERNMENT DECIDES “HEY, THAT’S NOT A BIG ENOUGH INCREASE”, THEN THEY CAN GO TO THE VOTERS AND ASK FOR MORE.

    Opponents of I-1033 can’t/won’t say what’s wrong with going to the voters.

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