The 2014 Election is almost upon us. If you haven’t voted yet, please do. There are two ballot measures related to education. Like the Seattle Council PTSA, the QAE PTSA has not taken a position on either ballot measure: while each has good ideas, each also has problems. But we do want to be sure you can cast an informed ballot on these important issues. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 4!
I-1351-smaller class sizes in K-12: NO POSITION TAKEN BY QAE PTSA. While we support smaller classes sizes, this initiative does not identify funding sources for meeting class size reductions. The McCleary decision already requires some smaller class sizes (particularly in K-3), and the legislature is presently in contempt as they still have not shown real and measurable progress toward meeting the constitutional mandate to amply fund K-12 education. Class size does matter, and the legislature isn't funding the existing mandates. Read more here.
Proposition 1A/1B-childcare and preschool: NO POSITION TAKEN BY QAE PTSA. We believe in advocating for early childhood education and childcare. However, this ballot measure is challenged by requiring voters to choose between two policies with different approaches and not quite similar objectives. 1A focuses on childcare and providers for all children from birth to 5 in Seattle, and 1B focuses on a small number of the city's 3 and 4 year olds.
Voters are asked to make two votes. First, “Should either of these measures be enacted into law?” Second, regardless of how you voted on the first question, “if one of these measures is enacted, which one should it be?” It’s confusing, and as the League of Women Voters has said, based on the way the vote is set up it’s unclear what the results will mean.
Voting No? If you will vote no on Prop 1, but you want to support early childhood education, please contact Mayor Ed Murray's office and Education and Governance Chair, Tim Burgess and let them know this is an important issue and you want them to keep working on it.
There was an interesting debate last night at the General Meeting on the various options for Propositions 1A & 1B. We were joined by Joanna Cullen, League of Women Voters – Seattle/King County (in favor of voting No and forcing a unified plan), Emerald Walker, Yes for Early Success (in favor of adopting 1A), and Michael DeBell, Seattle School Board, retired (in favor of adopting 1B). If you missed it, the Seattle channel Seattle Speaks: Preschool Politics video provides a comprehensive debate between the two.
Aside from the election issues, we want to keep you apprised of multiple education advocacy issues at the state and local level. Read more here.
QAE Legislative Committee
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