On Oct. 13, Northshore’s School Board unanimously passed a resolution declaring that Initiative 1033, “… could have a devastating impact on K-12 education in our local community and in the state of Washington.” Their resolution echoes the concerns of Northshore’s teachers and other educators, who are urging their neighbors to vote No on I-1033 for the same reason.
The resolution further states that “Initiative 1033 is on the ballot in a year when the Washington Legislature reduced funding for K-12 public schools by $1.5 billion, cuts that have negatively impacted our local schools, staff and students; and … would clearly hurt the state’s efforts to promote student learning, achievement and school accountability.” Northshore cut nearly $5 million this year, including reducing reading specialists, eliminating Camp Casey, eliminating junior-high deans, cutting junior-high sports, eliminating paraprofessionals in several programs and increasing class sizes.
The School Board reviewed a document prepared by the district’s executive director for business services, which broadly estimated that passage of I-1033 could result in $46 million in lost state revenue to the district by 2015.
That estimate does not include the reduction in Northshore’s levy dollars, which are capped at 24.9 percent of state and federal funds. If state revenue is cut as estimated, this would result in a further loss of about $11 million over five years. The current Northshore budget is $181 million, so the loss of $57 million over five years — or even half of this — would result in unprecedented cuts in staff and programs.
Tim Eyman’s I-1033 would increase class sizes, force the district to cut more programs, and would damage our community. While Eyman makes his living putting initiatives on the ballot, our students are trying to prepare for life. Our schools are already underfunded. I-1033 would be a further blow.
Tim Brittell, President, Northshore Education Association