Democrat State Sen. Sharon Nelson—the same Democrat who attempted to blow a $2 billion hole in the state budget—is attempting to make another political point. In a recent newsletter, Nelson attacked Senate Republicans for taking a stand against the state Supreme Court’s overreach of power. The problem is she has to ignore reality to make her point.
The reality is that Democrats have been underfunding public education and higher education spending for a generation. They have controlled at least one house of the Legislature in 28 of the last 30 years – and had complete control of the Legislature in 14 of those years. A Democrat governor has signed every state budget since 1985. Under these heavily Democrat-controlled budgets, the ratio of education versus non-education spending was 1:2 (in other words, the Democrats’ priority was two dollars for bigger general government for every new dollar of education funding).
Sharon writing about Democrats prioritizing education is just that – talk. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of making edits to her newsletter. Nelson’s letter, with our edits:
“Today I received a letter signed by 19 Senate Republicans asking that I join them in their crusade against the Washington State Supreme Court.
“My response to their letter is this: Please join Senate Democrats, the House of Representatives, the Governor, all nine Supreme Court Justices, Washington’s one million school kids, their parents and teachers and let’s all work together to fully fund education in our state.
“I don’t care what Senate Republicans think of the Court’s order. Neither do kids who continue to move through our K-12 system in crumbling schools that my party has underfunded for the past 30 years. Neither do teachers who have to leave the profession they love because our current collective bargaining system still pays teachers based only on years of service and nothing else, thus ensuring that high demand teachers and new teachers will always remain underpaid, they can’t afford to feed their families. Neither do parents who send their kids to overcrowded schools and classrooms year after year, because our districts and our state as a whole is still not fully committed to providing students and their families more school choice.
“The one and only thing any of us should care about is fixing a system where students of color, students from low-income families and students with disabilities are still not receiving the education they deserve, as evidenced by graduation rates that remain stubbornly low. And, about fixing a system where only half of our students are proficient (“career and college ready”) in reading, and less than half in math. But, this is an inevitable result of entrenched special interests driving our education policies in Olympia issues and fixing them now.
“Despite all this, thanks to Andy Hill and Senate Republicans we’ve made great strides in funding education. But we have more to do and all any of us should care about is how we are going to finish the job and provide every kid in this state, especially kids our state has historically left behind, with a great education. That should always be our focus (even though it hasn’t been for the past 30 years in my party) no matter what the Court says or does.
“Let’s come together as a legislature, and a state, let’s drop the endless demands for capital gains taxes and income taxes, to finish the job. Kids, parents and teachers and taxpayers deserve nothing less and have already waited too long (again, thanks to my party – because we’ve always put education last).”
Clay Fitzgerald says
Nelson’s letter, with our edits:
Your putting your words in her mouth is pretty much the only way to make her look as stupid as you desperately want everyone to believe she is. Thank you for admitting this.
Now, to make the nineteen Republicans look not merely stupid, but opposed to the rule of law, we’ll do them the disservice of quoting their own words, fully and in context. It ain’t gonna be pretty.
The Court’s Order Violates the State Constitution
Persons who actually earned diplomas from American high schools know about that basic principle of American constitutional theory, the separation of powers. Having legislators declare on constitutionality violates this principle. (And, in a nice irony, has the legislators doing exactly what they accuse our Supreme Court of doing.)
The court’s direction for $100,000 a day to be deposited in an account for basic education clearly constitutes an appropriation.
No, it’s a “fine”, and governments fine each other all of the time. Sometimes these fines are put in escrow accounts.
Article IV, Sec 4 of the United States Constitution provides that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…”
That should be a small “r” in “republican.” Apparently, our legislators believe Republicans have a right to run our government, voters be damned.
…the state must ensure the proper separation of powers articulated in its constitution and required by the federal document.
Yes, that means legislators should not be issuing opinions on constitutions. Thank you for agreeing, please shut up and fund education.
And hey, they did admit they were wrong:
While a court has the inherent authority under its mandamus power to compel a subordinate public official to fulfill a clear legal duty…
Yes, as our Supreme Court did in the case of Attorney General McKenna, when he refused to perform his constitutional duty to represent Lands Commissioner Goldmark in court. Now please shut up, and fulfill the “paramount duty” under our Constitution: ample funding of education.
We could have put 10 billion in the education budget and the democrats would still insist it wasn’t “fully funded”. The goal in this was to inflict another tax on the working taxpayers of Washington State.