It would be amusing if it was not so maddening to see that the Legislature has again thumbed its nose at the Washington Supreme Court's order to provide a stable, adequate revenue source to fully fund basic education. What part of the word "paramount" is so hard to grasp? We've got a multi-billion dollar tax break for Boeing; we've got a generous $16 billion for transportation, but a piddly $1.3 billion extra for our broken school system – which, this very year, produced a couple thousand high school seniors who cannot pass a biology test and move on with their lives.
Public education is so crucial to the ability of a person to survive in modern society that more than 30 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court said that to withhold it would impose a "social disability" on the deprived student, and ordered that free public education be available to illegal immigrant children anywhere in the country (Plyler v Doe, 1982). Since then, education needed to make a living has expanded to much "higher" and more technical requirements. Yet our Legislature is content to impose a "social disability" of under-education on its own, our own, children. How many will be competitive with their hungrier peers in China and India? How many will be able to support us in our dotage?
As much I want better transportation facilities, I wish that the Supreme Court could seize those funds to create a contemporary education system suited to our paramount duty.
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