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Re: like-- gag me!

When's your election?
I can't wait to read....

OLYMPIA – Feb. 21, 2003 – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Juanita Doyon issued the following statement today:

----- Original Message -----
From: Juanita Doyon
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 9:13 PM
Subject: like-- gag me!


Fiscal crisis should not derail education reform efforts

Times of economic hardship call for re-examination of state revenue base

OLYMPIA – Feb. 21, 2002 – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson issued the following statement today:

"Today’s announcement by the president of the Washington Education Association is a reflection of the frustration felt by teachers all across our state in response to our worsening economic picture and potential cuts to education," said Bergeson. "Teachers are charged with the incredible responsibility of making sure their students are afforded every opportunity to learn and challenge themselves fully. And under education reform, our state’s school children have made amazing gains in their learning and achievement due to their hard work and that of their teachers.

"Walking away from accountability, however, is not the solution. It jeopardizes the progress teachers and students have made and it does not solve the underlying problem," Bergeson continued. "The fact is, our state is in a fiscal crisis beyond what we have seen in nearly a decade. The tax base has been reduced by $2.8 billion since 1994, and this year’s deficit is close to $1.6 billion. If we have to choose between making cuts that would devastate our children’s education and finding other solutions, I will gladly work with the Legislature to find other solutions.

"This recession, coupled with a revenue shortfall, requires both immediate and long-term solutions. I believe the Legislature faces a tremendous dilemma that will require both tough budget cuts and additional revenue to help us through this recession. For the long-term, we need to come together and engage in an honest discussion about potential solutions. We need to engage groups like the state’s non-partisan Tax Advisory Committee, which is looking at the tax system to find ways to make it more equitable, adequate and stable.

"There are tough choices to be made, but we can’t let all of our progress in education go by the wayside. We need to find equitable solutions, and we need to give both our kids and our teachers the support they need to improve student learning."

Bergeson will be available for comment by phone or in person today after 12 p.m. in her office at the Old Capitol Building. 600 S. Washington St., Olympia.

About OSPI

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Dr. Terry Bergeson, OSPI works with the state’s 296 school districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students. For more information, visit the OSPI Web site at http://www.k12.wa.us