Washington State: Where Billionaires Get Richer, and Schools Get Shafted

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is an astonishing article about the battle for fair funding of public education in Washington State, where billionaires pay a lower tax rate than working stiffs. The article appeared almost two years ago, but it remains relevant today.

“Despite its image as the cutting-edge land of Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, and many other corporate icons, the state ranks near last place nationally in education categories such as per-pupil funding, class size, and college attendance.”

A valiant lawyer, Thomas Ahearne, took on the case more than a decade ago and found Stephanie McCleary, a mother with two young children, who was willing to step up and be the public face of the struggle. The state’s courts have ruled in favor of McCleary, but the legislature has failed to raise taxes on the wealthiest or to come up with a plan to fund the schools equitably.

Bill Gates, the most famous…

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