[EDITOR'S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
by Earl Gipson
We have been skating along in our Highline schools and people like myself (no kids) not noticing the steady decline in test scores, graduation rates, etc.
This decline did not happen overnight and at the SeaTac Council Meeting on the 22nd Highline School Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield gave a presentation (can be found at: http://www.ci.seatac.wa.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8197) showing her plan, graduation rates, and grade test scores. I was appalled and almost fell off my chair. With one of the highest school tax rates in the County what have we been doing with the money all those years?!
We all know the why but most do not have the guts to articulate it lest we be called various derogatory names. It is called diversity and it is politically correct term to describe the massive influx of refugees and immigrants who arrive in our area by means of Federal, State, and local policies that come under funded with our local schools, human services, and teachers taking the hit for lack of resources and expected to deal with it.
As a former Real Estate Instructor (long time ago) I know that people move to an area because of the schools. They also move out of the area for the same reason. This lowers the tax base and you have to increase the taxes on those remaining just to tread water. Raising all ships? We seem to be sinking all boats.
Some practices that have been communicated to me I find disturbing and it seems that parents have ceded the raising of a child to the schools and government. Breakfast for all. These are the waking hours of a child and should be spent with their parents (at least one) not the school. No cursive writing taught anymore. Teaches a child dexterity and gives them something of their own, their signature (we’re not teaching identity theft are we?). Students calling their teachers mother. I sure as heck knew the difference. The titles of mother and father should be taken.
Dr. Enfield has a bold plan and it is sure to ruffle a lot of feathers but those feathers MUST be ruffled if her plan is to succeed. We also need financial help from those Federal/State agencies that have been dumping things on us that we cannot afford with the funds we have.
Our local and County politicians need to stop sugar coating what has been policy disasters such making us an official “sanctuary” for ILLEGAL immigrants and supporting MORE refugee influx without dealing with the existing new Citizens that are here already. My idea of course is to throw the politicians out at the voting booth and bring in people with at least some sense of economics, budgeting, and policy ramifications. Some of them call their antics Social Justice and it is exactly the opposite. They are not only undermining the new Citizens but destroying the ones that have lived here for decades and contributed their tax dollars and service. The only justice I want to see is that these politicians are not re-elected or anywhere near public office ever again. Julia Patterson, are you listening?
Dr. Enfield I wish you the best of luck and please continue to the keep Councils and Citizens apprised of your progress but you do not have much time. As it stands now there would be no way a child of mine would be in the Highline School system. I would move, beg, borrow, or steal to home school them (breakfast would be served) or place them in private school. I would not have my children falling through the ice.