2017 is the year that Washington state and Divaland will pass equitable education funding for kids and teachers. We are so excited to announce that Team Diva is joining forces with Washington’s Paramount Duty. Whose expansive grassroots efforts are indispensable in the fight for the future of students.
Team Diva has made education our number 1 priority for 2017. We want to see Washington rise from being 35th in high school graduation to the top of the country. We are thrilled to be working in association with Washington’s Paramount Duty. An organization whose activism is leading the fight statewide.
In 2010, the McCleary Decision by the state supreme court recognized that inequitable funding in our state undermines less affluent communities, and declared this lack of funding unconstitutional. Our state legislature must agree on a plan and budget that will bring the state into compliance. After years of delays, schools are already suffering major cuts, but activists are working hard to ensure that a solution is signed into law before the end of this legislative session.
What Is Washington’s Paramount Duty?
Washington’s Paramount Duty is a non-partisan group of dedicated parents volunteering their time, money, and skills to fight for kids. It was formed last year as a Facebook group, which grew to have thousands of supporters in a few days. WPD now has official legal status. Including a board, steering, and organizational committees. Supporting organizations are being assembled into a statewide coalition that can bring diverse, pressing concerns to Olympia and demand action.
WPD’s position is simple: Equitable access to amply funded basic education is a fundamental duty of the state. Education funding should be sustainable in economic upswings and downturns. It should not be generated by cutting funding elsewhere, such as from higher education, early learning, and health care.
Washington state has the most regressive tax system in the nation. New revenue ought to come primarily from the wealthiest individuals and corporations. Spending should prioritize the creation of healthy, safe, productive environments for students. This includes nutritious meals and smaller class sizes. Curricula should include access to arts, languages, and technology. Barriers to learning should be lowered and systemic biases should be addressed. Furthermore, everyone paying into this system should be able to see how the funds are allocated.
Why Are We Supporting Washington’s Paramount Duty?
The team of parent volunteers are involved and super active to pass equitable education funding. They have an extremely dynamic Facebook group dedicated to making real change happen. We have been so impressed by the work of the organization to rally people together, do the hard analysis, and go to Olympia on a regular basis to work for all of Washington state’s kids and teachers.
What Does Washington’s Paramount Duty Need Right Now?
Frankly, we need more people like these parents out there doing the hard work, and they need our support. You can sign up on their Web site and learn how to volunteer. WPD needs spokespeople and advocates to write letters and lead conversations. There are lots of tools, stories, and resources on the site, so explore it and learn more about the cause and how you might help.
Washington’s Paramount Duty also needs to raise a significant amount of money to hire a community organizer for kids and teachers. The community organizer would be able to work across the state with ambassadors for the group. They would be able to rally support and make sure that the Republican’s don’t steal money from Seattle and Bellevue for rural districts. Or jeopardize healthcare and housing.
You can donate online. Remember, a donation to a 501c4 is not tax-exempt. Supporting a lobby is not the same as supporting a charity. Lobbying will be a necessary measure during this administration.
Divaland, Get Ready to Support WPD!
To show our strong support the Divas, Kim and Chavi, will be donating $92** for every transaction they close between April 1st and June 30th to Washington’s Paramount Duty. We’ll also be throwing a fundraiser in the coming months. So stay tuned!!
** $92 is the statewide average increase in B&O taxes, per transaction, real estate agents would pay to help fully fund education in our state should the Governor’s Budget Proposal be enacted.