Whenever the Washington Education Association (WEA) argues that it needs more of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars, it [questionably] claims that the money would go towards reducing class sizes and, thus, allegedly improving the quality of education for children. A new report proves that when the WEA actually does get its way, that its class size reduction promise falls short — very, very short.
The state legislature provided an extra $90 million in the 2013-15 budget and $350.2 million more in the 2015-17 budget for the purpose of reducing class sizes for kindergarten through 3rd grade. Unfortunately, even with millions more in taxpayer dollars, class sizes are not being reduced.
In fact, in many school districts, the opposite is happening. The Washington Policy Center reports:
On July 6th, Seattle School Board members formally announced plans to spend a record amount, $790 million, to operate 98 schools for 52,000 students. That is about $15,000 per student, or roughly twice the amount of typical private school tuition in the city.
The spending includes a $10.1 million grant from state taxpayers to reduce class sizes, plus $300 million from property owners for capital spending.
Despite new state funding, Seattle Public Schools say they are planning for larger class sizes in 64 of their 70 elementary and K-8 schools in 2016-17 (see table).
All the hoopla and class-size campaign in Olympia from a few years ago, which raised parental expectations statewide, has resulted in the opposite of what people were promised; more spending appears to be leading to larger class sizes, not smaller ones.
All in all, a whopping 64 elementary schools in Seattle will increase their class sizes next year. The question is, what is the Seattle School District doing with all the money they said they would spend to reduce class sizes?
Ladies and gentlemen, big labor at work.
According to Seattle Education Association, they won last fall in their strike, and they got to set the priorities for the district:
“Overall, the contract was a massive win. Oh my God. It was just like, we spanked them. We spanked the hell out of the district.”
And families joined the teachers on the picket line to stand for using money for wage increases instead of class size. Folks, WEA’s interests are different than what is best for students.
For the first time in history, Seattle’s population has exceeded that of Boston. Yet there’s no mention of that fact anywhere in this post.
It’s good to know that no matter how expensive education becomes, we have Shift, the Washington Policy Center, and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation to demonstrate conclusively how much more costly ignorance will forever be.
Clay Fitzgerald says
The truly ignorant one in this forum is YOU, tensie!
Chan Bailey says
Looking at the chart provided by the WPC one will notice that the ratio of teachers to students is not above 1:23 in any of the 70 Seattle elementary schools. Less than half have a ratio above 1:20. This is even after the expected increase. Leave it to the WEA to create a problem where many people wouldn’t see one, and use it to their personal advantage.
Leave it to tensor to use a statistic that has nothing to do with the topic of discussion.
Looking at the chart provided by the WPC…
Statistics provided by the WPC have nothing to do with the topic of any reality-based discussion.
Chan Bailey says
Your opinion only. In any reality based discussion I will give WPC and Shift more credibility than anonymous commentators.
“… I will give WPC and Shift more credibility…”
Of course you will. In this recent thread, you got busted for ignoring the very data you’d repeatedly accused someone else of not providing. It therefore comes as no surprise you’d easily swallow and regurgitate the information provided by places like Shift and the WPC.
Yes guys, the actual population of a city has nothing to do with the city’s demographics. Just keep repeating that until you’re sure.
Meanwhile, from one of the sources the WPC report cites, we see (graph on page 6) the student population of the Seattle Public Schools has grown from 47,008 in 2010 to 52,234 in 2015. That’s 11% over five years. Meanwhile, on page 7, we see that budgets did not keep pace over that time, so the proposed spending the WPC cites is intended to close the gap. (That report — the one the WPC cited — explictly states, “FY 16-17 is not finalized…”)
So, the WPC first entirely ignored the actual history, and then misrepresented a projection for actual behavior. You guys, of course, swallowed it all and regurgitated it uncritically. (Do tell us again about how hopelessly confused you are at how Seattle’s voters persistently ignore your “wisdom”.)
Chan Bailey says
Once again, you have failed to show the relevance of the two populations. No comparison at all. Are you not able to come up with anything? I did check into the Boston school district and found that their maximum class size for K-2nd grade is 22, grades 3-5 is 25, and grades 6-8 is 28. Seattle’s highest average class size is 22.2 in one elementary school. The rest are all below 22, and these are for classes K-8. Boston’s average would be 25 for K-8.
Put simply, just for you, Seattle’s class sizes are well below what the Boston schools have as maximums. I will also point out that the Boston maximums are agreed to during contract negotiations with the teachers union.
Knowing that the WEA claimed to want more money to reduce class sizes, then took raises instead, tells me that WEA members are just more greedy, and care less about the students, than Boston teachers.
If you want to compare what teachers are paid (Seattle v. Boston) you need to include cost of living information as well, or the information is worthless.
Saying that a budget is not finalized is not “misrepresenting” anything if it’s true. Last, it is not our fault if Seattle voters don’t pay attention.
If you’re advocating Washington state behave more like Massachusetts in the areas of taxation and expenditure, I have no problem with that.
My point about Seattle’s population growth was to hint at what I have since shown: Seattle’s public school population has grown very fast, very recently.
And finally, confusing proposed spending with actual spending is indeed misleading. Your only problem is to tell us whether the WPC intentionally mislead you, or mislead you out of sheer ignorance on the very points for which it, Shift, and you have claimed it has expertise.
Chan Bailey says
I am advocating that you support and then use your comparison of the populations of Boston and Seattle.
If this is what you meant, “My point about Seattle’s population growth was to hint at what I have since shown: Seattle’s public school population has grown very fast, very recently.” Why didn’t you say it?
In other words, stop using unrelated misinformation to cloud the subject in an attempt to mislead us.
Why didn’t you say it?
I apologize for having over-estimated your ability to draw conclusions from facts.
There’s nothing misinformative about Seattle having a larger population than Boston, and Seattle’s recent population growth, to produce that larger population, is vital context the WPC and Shift completely ignored.
Chan Bailey says
Your opinion. I disagree.
Saying that a budget is not finalized is not “misrepresenting” anything if it’s true.
Actually, it’s fundamentally dishonest to take a qualified statement and repeat it without the qualification. But that fundamental dishonesty by the WPC is the basis for the quote Shift used. Little wonder we in Seattle pay little attention to the WPC.
“For the first time in history, Seattle’s population has exceeded that of Boston. Yet there’s no mention of that fact anywhere in this post”
Far from the first time in history, you’ve added a meaningless unrelated fact to a thread, demonstrating conclusively your SSD indoctrination totally failed at teaching you critical thinking skills
That is only because the homeless population has tripled because of Seattle and King County’s leftist homless policy which doesn’t require anything (such as getting sober) in exchange for benefits…
Stephen Serafin says
My stomach turns every time i hear the mantra “It’s for the children”. It’s never about the children.