My teacher can't be bribed

June 25, 2015

Chief Senate budget writer Andy Hill today introduced Proposed Substitute Senate Bill 6059. He says it would “correct Initiative1351,” the state’s new class-size law. But Hill’s bill doesn’t “correct” the the initiative; it guts it. In our recent dissertation discussion chapter we mentioned it, and explained the obvious reasons behind this decision.

PSSB 6059 increases class sizes far above the standards set by voters in November for students in grades 4-12 and for students in high-poverty schools. 


And in what looks a cynical ploy to gain the favor of school employees who have gone without pay raises since 2008, PSSB 6059 would provide teachers a one-time salary bonus of about $2000, while permanently consigning students in the state to overcrowded classrooms. 

Hill and his Republican caucus would go even further in denying kids the individual attention they need and deserve to succeed. Under current law, school districts that lack sufficient physical space to reduce class sizes receive funding for additional staff that provide direct services to students. (This means, for example, that two teachers might serve the students in one classroom until long-term facilities issues are resolved.) 

Hill,  however, proposes saving money by cutting funds to short-on-space districts. Kids in those packed schools would therefore suffer doubly.

I-1351 explicitly states that the new class-size standards are part of Washington’s program of basic education. And the state Supreme Court has ruled that “the legislature may not eliminate an offering from the basic education program for reasons unrelated to educational policy, such as fiscal crisis or mere expediency.” 

But Hill offers no educational reasons to enact PSSB 6059. Instead, he claims that it "is necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions..." 

Say NO to PSSB 6059! CLICK HERE! It takes less than two minutes to send a message to your local legislators.

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