Washblog

Local control of schools means you actually have to have local schools

Conservative parents (and even some progressive ones) bemoan the loss of local control over schools. Washington Teachers points to how the conservative notion of lower taxes at seemingly any cost is having the intended effect of taking control of their kids educations away from parents in Vader and handing it to their neighbors in Castle Rock. After the failure of three school bond levies, the Vader School District packed up its bags and now Castle Rock school district will serve the Vader and Ryderwood areas.

Two Vader school board members will hold non-voting positions on Castle Rock's board until the district lines are redrawn and the old Vader district becomes one position on the Castle Rock board. Not only are they deciding to bus their kids at least 15 miles south to a Castle Rock school, they are also choosing less representation in the decisions their schools makes. Or as I Thought I Think put it: The people have spoken, and they've said, "Commuter kids!"

I took a quick look at election results for Vader, and it seems like the school district might have been saved had simple majority been around earlier (don't forget to support Simple Majority), but this brings up a broader point. If we want local control over government -- an active government close to the people and close to what local communities want -- we need to support it. This is where the conservative philosophy falls apart for me. They complain their taxes are too high, then they complain that when they do have a problem with their schools, no one ever listens to them.

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Holy Smokes, this is the first I've heard of this. Do the people of Vader think they're going to escape from school levy taxes by destroying their own district? Once the Vader schools are incorporated into the Castle Rock School District, they're going to have levy votes to help pay for ALL of those schools, not just the ones within their city. I'd call that foolish. If anyone wants to help collect information on how the Vader School Levy has done over the last few years, let me know. I'm already working on it. This would be a good example for Simply Better Schools.

by chadlupkes on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 04:29:51 PM PST

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Of the nine state representatives that could represent parts of the old Vader district (senators and reps from the 18th, 19th and 20th LDs) four of the six Republicans from the two districts voted against it. Rep. DeBoldt, Rep. Orcutt, Sen. Zarelli and Sen. Swecker all voted against a measure that would have saved Vader school district.



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by emmettoconnell on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 08:05:32 PM PST

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The focus-grouped talking points that pass for conservative philosophy are totally devoid of the time honored concept of civic duty.

Civic duty entails being a part of the community you live in. Including willingly paying taxes to support needed community services, even the ones you personally might not be using at the moment.

I've heard more than one 'conservative' say; "why should I vote yes on a school levy, I don't have any kids in school."

Conservatives babble on about patriotism, but you won't hear them talking about good citizenship and civic duty. With patriotism they can slap on a bumper sticker or wrap themselves in a flag and say they're a patriot. Good citizenship requires effort and sometimes even a little sacrifice.

by citizensteve on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 11:06:34 PM PST

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