Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for April 25

McCleary ‘fix’ means less for Olympia students

Olympia School District serves 10,000 students and we have an $8.5 million deficit for the upcoming year. This deficit exists with a roll-over budget with no new programming and under a funding model that the state calls fully funded education.

We are not “fixed” as was promised with HB 2242, also known as the McCleary Bill. Reports from the McCleary ruling have sold a narrative that education funding is “fixed” and that it is time to move onto other problems.

For our students this “fix” translates to $800 less in per-student funding next year.

For our students it means larger classes.

For our students it means less access and opportunity.

Our students can do the math and they know that $800 less per student is a bad deal.

Our students deserve the same opportunities afforded to their peers in more affluent districts across the state.

A deficit budget in the post-McCleary landscape is unacceptable. Local dollars and local control have been stripped from our community and left us with inequities. It sounds like the same story that brought us to the McCleary lawsuit in the first place.

Ask state legislators to solve the school funding problems. To allocate more revenue to our district or restore our local levy authority.

Joellen Wilhelm, Olympia School Board President

Why a capital gains tax is good for our state

Washington ranks as the worst state for low-income earners to live, and it’s notably worse than any other state (March 7 report by Paige Browning for KUOW).

Right now, if you are a low-income Washingtonian, you pay 17 percent of your income in taxes. If you are a high-income Washingtonian, you pay 3 percent (Olympian article, March 29 by James Drew).

Republicans have no plan to address our upside-down tax code.

In our state, corporate welfare lets Boeing and Amazon off with zero taxes. The public has no appetite for an income tax. We are left with using a capital gains tax on the wealthy to balance our tax code and invest in priorities like early learning, education, and mental health care.

Madeline Bishop, Olympia