The economic justice periodical In These Times recently ran this important article on the mass rolling strike wave of teachers and educators across Washington State – including now some 65 different union locals—who are standing up to a lawless state legislature that refuses to obey a court order to fully fund education. As I point out in the article, Washington State has the most unequal tax structure and it is time we taxed the rich to fund our schools. And as In These Times points out:
…the state’s top 1% contributes 2.4 percent of family income in state and local taxes while the poorest 20 percent contribute 16.8 percent, making Washington the “highest-tax state in the country for poor people.”
Meanwhile, the state’s largest corporations have received eye-popping tax breaks in recent years: In 2014, Boeing was awarded the single largest tax break a state has ever given a company: an $8.7 billion cut. Microsoft reportedly avoided $528 million in state taxes between 1997 and 2008 due to lax legislative oversight concerning the company reporting its revenue through its licensing office in Nevada, despite basing its software production in Washington….WEA members say that if legislators don’t resolve funding issues by the end of the second special legislative session, rolling strike waves will begin again when school begins in September.
Let the Washington State Legislature know that they must come up with the money for our schools by emailing them here. As a popular sign carried by striking Washington educators reads, “On strike against legislature – stop blaming teachers – start funding schools.”