Submitted by Maia Espinoza Superintendent of Public Instruction Campaign.
Parents, students and educators are still reeling from the news of statewide school closures. Faced with no in-person instruction for the remainder of the year and possible disruptions come fall, candidate for state Superintendent of Public Instruction Maia Espinoza is calling for a radical funding shift to support the educational needs of students in Washington.
“Parents are out of work and Congress provided funds to help. Why aren’t we doing the same for students who are out of school? Virus or not, the paramount duty of the state is to educate children and that still isn’t happening,” Espinoza said.
She is calling on the governor, education leaders and local districts to calculate cost savings from school closures on things like power bills and transportation in order to immediately provide cash payments to families.
“The money is there and it should be going to educate students. Parents are now the primary educators in the home and they should be given the financial resources to do it,” Espinoza said. “Teachers can still get paid as we adapt to distance learning, but families deserve their portion of education money back in cash so they can equitably and effectively educate their children.”
Espinoza’s proposal would be restricted to the state portion of education funding. It would calculate the cost savings per student for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and provide that savings directly to families to educate students at home.
Local parent, Nina Tatum said, “I could really use the extra money right now to pay my internet bill and for me to buy another tablet. My kids like the learning games on the computer but with 3 kids and only one computer, it makes it really hard.”
“We’ve heard from the current administration that we haven’t moved toward online learning in this crisis because of equity issues. My plan helps solve that problem. Parents should receive a $2,500 cash payment per student which can buy technology, supplies, educational material, whatever is needed to give that student and family a fighting chance at an education this year. Funds might be released as a check or prepaid debit card,” said Espinoza.
“Failing to provide students with monetary support for their education tacitly acknowledges that education funding in our state does not follow the child, it only supports the system.”
About Maia Espinoza
Maia Espinoza is a teacher and the Executive Director of the Center for Latino Leadership, an education-based, civic engagement nonprofit in Washington State. She works to address disparities in education and public works. Maia is a candidate for Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction.Print This Post