As one who voted for her, it’s sad that Gov. Chris Gregoire has proven to be window dressing and a largely inept state executive.
In order to address the current budget crisis, she has resorted to severe cuts in education and human services and window dressing style agency consolidations. Those consolidations, perhaps advisable in the long term, could very well be very costly in the near-term.
I made the recommendation to her office to consolidate school districts — down from 295 to less than 100 statewide. I do not suggest that consolidating school district administrations should necessarily result in consolidated schools.
It’s important to keep schools in local communities, neighborhoods and small rural towns. Thurston County does not need eight school districts costing taxpayers close to $1 million annually only for district superintendent salaries. School districts should be consolidated to save on bloated district overhead expenditures — with the potentially enormous savings redirected to the classrooms.
National studies show that Washington state is at the bottom of the list for dollars spent per student and at the top of the list in terms of average class size.
Why has there been no public dialogue about this issue?
The Legislature has been largely impotent, including the Republican side of the aisle, by simply rubber stamping the governor’s budget agendas.