Guest Column

October 20, 2009

By Contributor

Vote ‘No’ on I-1033

The Olympian Coalition — whose members include teachers, education support staff, parents, school board members and citizens interested in the success of all of Issaquah’s students — is united in opposing Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033 on the November ballot.This initiative drains even more resources from Washington students than the cuts experienced from the last legislative session. By limiting state and local spending to inflation plus population growth, I-1033 threatens education, health care and other basic services.

This initiative would result in loss of revenue to the state’s general fund of nearly $6 billion by 2015, according to the Office of Financial Management. This is on top of the $1.5 billion in K-12 education cuts already enacted by the 2009 state Legislature.

The kind of plan proposed in this initiative has been tried before.

In 1992, Colorado became the only state in the nation to impose a revenue limit like the one in Initiative 1033. Over the next 13 years, Colorado’s funding for K-12 education plummeted to 49th in the nation in per-pupil spending.

By 2005, the budgeting process had become so paralyzed and convoluted 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.

Initiative 1033 will have a similarly destructive effect on K-12 and higher education in our state and our community by forcing deep cuts to public schools and colleges, and then locking those cuts in for years.

In Washington state, we’re already ranked 43rd in the nation in per-pupil funding. Our children cannot afford further cuts that jeopardize their ability to get the education they need to prepare for life in the 21st century global economy.

That’s why the members of The Olympian Coalition are asking you to join us in voting no on I-1033 when you vote in November.

The Olympian Coalition is the Issaquah School District School Board, Issaquah PTSA Council, Issaquah Education Association, Issaquah Labor Coalition and Stand for Children — Issaquah Chapter.

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