Carmen Gray is a fifth grader at Fairmount Park Elementary. Last night, at the only Seattle-area listening tour of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee in Renton, Carmen delivered her public testimony:
My name is Carmen Gray. I am a fifth grader at Fairmount Park Elementary in West Seattle.
The first thing I would like to ask you is: why? Why are even here today? The Supreme Court was very clear in the McCleary ruling. Everybody needs a good education. Our current system of funding fuels the opportunity gap leaving poor neighborhoods with underfunded schools and richer neighborhoods with the advantage.
You as a legislator need to rip of the band-aid and raise taxes. Quoting from the Washington State Constitution,” It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all students residing within its borders.” The amount of money needed for this has been identified and the current tax revenue is inadequate.
We can’t fix this with bake sales and auctions. We need your help to succeed in our founders’ goals. In fact we need to go for extra credit on the McCleary assignment. This year alone my family spent $130 on basic supplies like pencils and paper. This should be supplied by the state along with proper salary for staff.
Last year I had 42 kids in my math class that was packed so full that there weren’t enough desks for everybody. Kids were sitting on the floor! My school district tried to fix the lack of funding by cutting teachers. Is this right because it is just ridiculous?
Washington is a beautiful state with a strong economy. We should have the best schools! Please do the tough work and fund McCleary! Thank you for your time. <smile emoticon>
October 18, 2015