I grew up in a working class family and have heavily relied on public education to accomplish a successful career and in raising my family. Without public education, I would have followed a much different path and would not have attended college. I even attended a public university; it was what I could afford. As a result, I am strongly in favor of supporting and funding our public schools.
Targeting and reducing funding for public schools is not the answer to balancing our state budget. Teachers are at the low end of the salary chain, which is detrimental to improving the status of Washington state schools in national ranking and not reflective of the impact they have to our children and social, technological and economic development.
I have lived in several states and have experienced the commitment that is made to educating our children through public school systems.
In the small town in which we lived in Massachusetts before moving to Washington, public schools we refunded in lieu of subsidized trash collection. Citizens chose to drop off their trash at a transfer station or paid a private collector. The Massachusetts schools have satisfactory funding, teachers are respectively compensated, and the students graduate with exemplary standing with higher than average college attendance. I have also traveled internationally for business and have observed and learned the commitment that other countries make to educating their children, like Germany, Japan and China. They are blowing past the U.S. technologically now, which will only accelerate in the near future if we stand still, as you propose.
Teachers touch our future on an individual, daily basis. What is your motivation? Shame on you for targeting public school programs and the potential wages of public school teachers! Washington state, our children, our citizens, our state economy deserve better.