2004 Online Voters' Guide: Measures

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INITIATIVE MEASURE 884
DEDICATING FUNDS DESIGNATED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES

Note: The ballot title was written by the Court and the explanatory statement was written by the Attorney General as required by law. The Fiscal Impact Statement was written by the Office of Financial Management.

BALLOT TITLE

Initiative Measure No. 884 concerns dedicating funds designated for educational purposes.

This measure would create an education trust fund for smaller classes, extended learning programs, certain salary increases, preschool access, and expanded college enrollments and scholarships, funded by increasing retail sales tax by 1%.

Should this measure be enacted into law?

Yes [ ] No [ ]

ARGUMENT FORARGUMENT AGAINST

DELIVERING ON OUR PROMISES

For years Olympia politicians have under-funded our schools and compromised the promises we have made to children and families:

That every child starts school prepared and ready to learn. That class sizes are small, and struggling students get the help they need. That teachers are better paid and supported. That every student who works hard has a place in higher education. That workers can get the retraining they need. That every student who needs it has financial aid.

I-884 - THE EDUCATION TRUST - WILL MAKE THESE PROMISES A REALITY

I-884 funds 16,000 lower income kids for quality pre-school every year. I-884 lets schools reduce class sizes, increase teacher pay and help struggling students. I-884 creates 32,000 new state-funded enrollments at 2 and 4-year colleges and universities, and increases both student aid and Promise Scholarships that reward academic achievement.

AN EDUCATION TRUST PROTECTED FROM POLITICAL MEDDLING

I-884 establishes a dedicated Trust Fund only for improvements in pre-school, K-12 and higher education. With a Citizen Board, full accountability, regular audits and oversight by the State Auditor, I-884 builds a firewall between the Trust and the Legislature. Unless we citizens act to protect education, the politicians will keep ignoring the problem.

DELIVERING ON OUR FUTURE

Education is the key to a better future for our families. Good schools mean good jobs. As Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recently said, what’s critical for individuals is critical for the economy: “rigorous education and on-going training for all members of the society.” Now is the time for citizens to invest in our children and our future.

VOTE YES ON I-884. LET’S MAKE GOOD ON OUR PROMISES

SKYROCKETING SALES TAXES WILL DEVASTATE WASHINGTON’S SLUGGISH ECONOMY AND HURT STRUGGLING WORKING FAMILIES

Washington already has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation. Now, politicians want it to be the highest. Increasing the state sales tax rate by 15% will hurt the poor, cost tens of thousands of jobs, and steer customers to tax-free Oregon and the internet. We’re taxed enough. Crushing property taxes, job-killing business taxes, sky-high utility taxes, and hundreds of taxes and fees on virtually every government service. We cannot tax ourselves into prosperity.

WASHINGTON IS THE 7TH HIGHEST TAXED STATE IN THE NATION – WE CAN’T AFFORD BEING #1

Politicians imposed a .3% vehicle sales tax increase last year. Counties are pushing additional sales tax increases this year and Puget Sound politicians have already said they’re pursuing an additional .5% sales tax increase next year. I-884’s $1 billion increase is on top of those increases. Politicians just don’t get it – working families and struggling senior citizens don’t have bottomless wallets!

DON’T LET POLITICIANS HOLD OUR CHILDREN HOSTAGE, DEMANDING A TAX RANSOM FOR A QUALITY EDUCATION

We all know how politicians manipulate us: putting essential services on the ballot while they fund their pet projects with our existing taxes. It’s the same old game with I-884. Don’t fall for it.

VOTE NO AND DEMAND THAT EXISTING EDUCATION TAXES BE SPENT IN CLASSROOMS, NOT FOR BUREAUCRACY

We all want our kids to get a quality education. But we already pay billions in taxes every year, investing more per student than ever before. More than half is eaten by administration and bureaucracy and many dollars are unaccounted for or wasted on failed programs. I-884 will hurt kids by making the problem worse. More money won’t make failed programs work. Vote No and demand that politicians prioritize existing dollars on proven academic programs and in the classrooms.

For further information, call 877.257.9156 or visit www.freedomvoters.org .

REBUTTAL OF ARGUMENT AGAINSTREBUTTAL OF ARGUMENT FOR

More tired rhetoric from the politicians who failed our children for a decade.

Student funding is below national average, class sizes too large, colleges turn away qualified students. Half the children who need preschool are left out.

Under 884, citizens, and the State Auditor, take control. Public reporting and strict accountability will see that dollars go to classrooms not bureaucracy.

This one cent increase builds an Education Trust Fund for children — protected from politicians.

Imposing the largest tax increase in state history on the people that can least afford to pay, like our fixed-income senior citizens, isn’t the solution. Education spending has steadily increased without corresponding student achievement improvement. Don’t be misled - I-884 is just another blank check with no reforms, accountability, or prioritization of existing dollars. To improve our economy we need to increase jobs - not taxes - and spend wisely. We’re taxed enough. Vote No.

ARGUMENT PREPARED BYARGUMENT PREPARED BY
WILLIAM H. GATES, SR.; MEG BUSHNELL, President, Washington State PTA; GARY A. LIVINGSTON, K-12 and higher education leader, Spokane; NICK HANAUER, Chairman, aQuantive, Inc.; PAOLA MARANAN, Children’s Alliance; LISA MACFARLANE, League of Education Voters.CLYDE BALLARD, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wenatchee; JAMIE DANIELS, Director of Washington CSE/FreedomWorks, parent, Olympia; ROXANNE HUSMANN, farmer, small business owner, community volunteer, Sultan; TOM HUFF, former House Appropriations Chairman and retailer, Gig Harbor; MINNIE KNYCH, former school superintendent and teacher, activist, Friday Harbor.

Washington Secretary of State
520 Union Avenue SE, PO BOX 40220, OLYMPIA WA 98504-0220
(360) 902-4151