SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8029
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1998 Regular Session
By Senators McDonald and Oke
Read first time 02/03/98. Referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
TO THE HONORABLE WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE HONORABLE SLADE GORTON, UNITED STATES SENATOR, AND TO THE HONORABLE PATTY MURRAY, UNITED STATES SENATOR:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives to the states those rights not enumerated in the Constitution; and
WHEREAS, It is the paramount duty of the State of Washington to provide for the education of the children of Washington State, as enumerated through the Constitution of the State of Washington, a right not given to the Congress of the United States, nor bureaucrats of the United States Department of Education; and
WHEREAS, The responsibility for providing education services to the children of Washington State rests with locally elected members of school district boards of directors, whose charge, through representative government, is to establish education priorities and goals that meet the needs of the students in their local communities; and
WHEREAS, Each local school district faces unique challenges in meeting the education needs of their students, and that such needs are different not only from district to district but also more clearly from state to state; and
WHEREAS, The efforts of local school districts to attain student achievement goals and respond to the changing needs of their communities are inhibited by rigid program requirements that force district compliance in order to access or maintain program funds. Such requirements fail to recognize the unique needs of local communities and disregard the education priorities and goals established at the local level; and
WHEREAS, Increasing federal involvement in the delivery of education services restricts the ability of local districts to develop innovative programs by forcing a one-size-fits-all approach applicable to all states and all communities, regardless of individual need; and
WHEREAS, Federal efforts to impact local education decisions have led to the creation of hundreds of different programs that attempt to centralize education through strict adherence to onerous and unwarranted regulations; and
WHEREAS, Compliance with the differing regulatory requirements of this vast number of education programs, unduly redirects up to thirty percent of certain program funds from classroom services to fuel the education bureaucracy; and
WHEREAS, The dollars wasted on program compliance requirements and administration could better be used for direct classroom services to students in order to improve student achievement; and
WHEREAS, The efforts of the Honorable Slade Gorton, United States Senator, would consolidate the vast number of programs funded by the federal government and block grant the funds for those programs to local school districts, to determine locally which education services are of most benefit to their students, and soundly affirm the efforts of school boards to fulfill the education goals of their local communities; and
WHEREAS, The amendment clearly establishes the right of the states to provide education services to the children within its borders and to establish those education priorities most desired within their state;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the President of the United States and members of the United States Congress reconsider, and support through adoption, the amendment by the Honorable Slade Gorton, United States Senator, that would consolidate a vast number of federal education programs and block grant funds for those programs directly to school districts in support of local control of education decisions, locally determined education priorities, reduced education bureaucracy and ultimately more money devoted to direct student services in our classrooms.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable William J. Clinton, President of the United States, the Honorable Slade Gorton, United States Senator, the Honorable Patty Murray, United States Senator, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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