Tomorrow is the start of a new chapter in this journey of ours. I’ve been to the Capitol to speak with legislators – sometimes I’m lucky and actually get to have a conversation, other times not so much. I’ve been to the Capitol to show my daughter around. I’ve been to multiple rallies – all about funding education properly. But this is the first time I’m going to the Capitol in this particular context. We’ll be there every day until public education is properly funded. We have a plan.
Our plan is to speak to as many legislators as we possibly can about getting the pay increase law properly funded and to take the next step by putting more public education funding into the revenue packages. Right now, we’re short $150 million for what has already been passed. While we are very grateful for the pay increase, it’s not putting enough money into the classroom.
We will rally for a bit, but that’s not what this is about. We will be present. We will have conversations. We will be appropriate and try to remind everyone that all of this is about the kids. Other core state services should NOT be cut in order to fund this. We need new revenue. We need to repeal the capital gains exemption. We need ball and dice. We really need a 7% GPT, although 5% is a MAJOR step in the right direction.
We will have the numbers. We will have the stamina.
I’m told that the legislators intend to wait us out. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m in this for the long haul. My students understand how important this is. They understand that what the state has done to them is not okay, not sustainable, and just plain not fair. They have also NEVER been in a fully funded school. The students who will graduate this year have NEVER been in a fully funded school. That’s how long it’s been. So to those legislators that are shaking the hands of the people who think their pocketbooks are more important than these kids’ futures, to the legislators that signed the pledge that they will NEVER raise taxes, to those who have decided that funding public education is historic instead of normal, we plan to:
Hope to see you at the Capitol this week!