Letter: Full funding alone won’t ensure student success

Mar 29, 2017

The March 15 article, “Teachers, students call for full education funding,” by Nicholas Johnson highlighted the importance of fully funding education during this legislative session. While I’m sure many agree that increasing the budget for education is essential, more funding alone will not solve our problems.

We must match funding with new policy that targets our education dollars to student need and ensures that every school gets adequate resources, including great teachers. And, we need legislators to show leadership by tying new funding more clearly to student outcomes.

For example, the state could structure funding so that chronically underperforming schools get additional support from the state or the district, with stronger interventions for students most at risk of dropping out. They could pass a bill designed so that students have access to career and technical education programs that identify clear paths to good paying jobs.

Legislators could make sure that dual credit programs are available so that more students are not only prepped for college, but also have credits under their belts when they arrive on campus. And, of course, they could improve educator salaries – particularly for those who take difficult-to-fill jobs in STEM and lower-income communities.

Now is the time to update our unfair and outdated system to ensure that we are creating the chance for every student to succeed.

The economy of tomorrow demands an educated and diverse workforce that can carry our state into the 21st century, and that means we must prepare our kids. Our children deserve to be put first, far above the politics of adults.

 

Libuse Binder
Executive Director
Stand for Children Washington
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