Our schools are caught in the crossfire of Washington state’s war over income taxes. Ever since the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that income taxes were unconstitutional in 1933, there has been debate over the subject of bringing it back. About three weeks ago a group announced their goal to introduce legislation for a income tax in Seattle, while in February a bill was introduced to prohibit the tax for the entire state by amending the state’s constitution (it failed, only 6 votes away from being brought to public ballots). Washington remains one of only 7 states without any income tax— and it is suffering for it.
Back in 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the state was not adequately funding K-12 education as required by article nine of the Washington Constitution, which reads as follows; "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex." In 2014, the state Supreme Court issued a 100,000 dollar fine each day it fails to do so. That’s $36.5 million dollars owed per year since then— and none of it has been paid.
Introducing both personal and corporate income taxes could solve this long-standing issue once and for all. While it is clearly understandable why anyone would be wary of having to pay more taxes— we need to be able to fund our schools. Not just because the state is legally bound to do so— but because educating the younger generation is essential for assuring the continued well-being of our society. The lack of these taxes also further forces lower-income citizens to bear the brunt of what taxes the state does levy— more so than most other states. According to The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the lowest earning 20% of Washington taxpayers pay 16.8% of their income as taxes— that’s 154% of the national average of 10.9%. Meanwhile, the top 1% earning Washington taxpayers pay only 2.4% of their income towards taxes— that’s 44% of the national average.
If Washington were to introduce a graduated income tax, and lowered the rates on sales and excise taxes (which tend to weigh much more on lower income taxpayers), this imbalance could be fairly leveled out. Take a look at California, for example, which does exactly this. The lowest earning 20% pay 10.5% of their total income as taxes, and the highest earning 1% pay 11.2% of their income towards taxes. While this is still slightly skewed, this is much more even than what Washington currently has. Our schools could finally get the funding they need.
We cannot continue to debate this until the eventual heat-death of the universe— this needs to come to a conclusion soon. Our schools need basic funding to function properly and educate the future of this state as best they can. The majority of us would be paying less in taxes every year were this to pan out cleanly— it’s almost a clear win-win. Why not implement income taxes in Washington?
Gavin: I feel like technology (in twenty years) will be even more advanced making people even more lazy. There will probably be things like motorized shoes so you don’t have to walk everywhere. Everything will be automated which will decrease the number of jobs for people, more fuel efficient cars that might be self driving. The population of the world is increasing which will most likely mean that there will be more people without homes. We might have pollution laws like California. It will be more common for people to use companies like Amazon to have groceries delivered to their houses.
Abby: I feel the world will be a lot different judging by how fast technology is growing. A lot of jobs will be gone. We will have more homeless people due to lack of jobs. The depression and suicide rates will go up. I don’t necessarily think “Robots” will be running the world, but possibly machines. Not the ones that talk. Phones & computers will progressively get smarter and smarter. Tons of animal and plant species will go extinct. The human race will either be super healthy or super unhealthy. The fashion will be a lot different too. There will be a ton more diseases. A cure for cancer will probably still be under “research”. Food will probably be a lot more different as well. Education will get either smarter & smarter, or dumber & dumber. We may not even have presidents anymore. Our economy will be super poor. Millions of businesses will shut down. Our world as we know it will be so different.
Ryan: I think 20 years from now are world will be very different, I think that the way people dress, walk, and talk will be almost completely different. I also believe that at that time our country will have found new more efficient ways of running itself, possibly people will be more healthy and fast food franchises will slowly start going out of business. Another thing, the type of cars and motorcycles will probably have changed around that time and will look a lot more advanced and sleek. All in all I think that our country and world will have changed for the better within 20 years.
Coby: What I think the world is going to look like in 20 years is. I think that there is going to be new phones out and games, better food and medical. In all reality I feel like that stuff is just going to get better per year.
Alex: In 20 years the world will still have schools, America will probably be part of China, and China will rule the world. Hovercraft will be more available than they are now, space travel will be commercial, and people will have internet chips in their heads if they want. (this will allow them to connect to the internet by thinking it.) I also believe that at that time our country will have found new more efficient ways of running itself, possibly people will be more healthy and fast food franchises will slowly start going out of business. Another thing, the type of cars and motorcycles will probably have changed around that time and will look a lot more advanced and sleek. All in all I think that our country and world will have changed for the better within 20 years.
Taylor: Medical Science will continue to advance. Technology and entertainment will continue to evolve.
So here you have journalism staff thoughts.
What do you think?
For the week of Monday, March 13, 2017 Henderson Bay is recognizing ten of our members for classified staff appreciation week. These ten people are often not thought of as staff members because they have different positions than what a teacher has. I’d like to shoutout Jody, Caryle, Kristi, Terry, Lori, Heather, Josh, Terri, Jill and Linda! We appreciate all that you do!
Jody is our great registrar. Caryle works the kitchen. Kristi is health tech, Terry keeps our finances straight, Lori helps Jeanne, Heather is our security blanket, Josh sweeps up in the evening, Terri assists Erin and John in CTE, Jill is head custodian and Linda is our executive greeter and right hand assistant to Brian.
Without these people Henderson would never be what it has become.
Dear Martin Luther King,
If you were alive today reading this letter, I would have to thank you for making a difference not only in the United States, but also throughout the world. You made a huge impact on my people, of different races and cultures that have been deemed derogatory terms we should not have go through life being called. The countless sacrifices that were made in your name makes me proud to be considered “biracial.” When I was younger, my classmates were confused by the color of my skin. I remember in first grade, my then best friend asked if I was white or black and I asked her to stop talking to me. There was also a time when I was in after school care and another kid that went there would not stop harassing me. He persistently asked if I was adopted because the color of my skin was not the same as my mom’s or dad’s. He even had the nerve to ask my mom if I was adopted when she arrived to pick up my brother and me.
Learning about the lessons you taught our nation about racism and segregation are my favorite memories from elementary and middle school. I’ve been to the hotel where you were assassinated and remember being horrified that someone would have the nerve to kill such a significant figure in African-American history. There are still days where I wonder what it would be like to go to an all black school, not being allowed in white people restaurants, bathrooms, water fountains, etc… I’m glad our country is the way it is today and although racism has not been put to an end altogether, thank you Martin Luther King for making a difference in our country.
Hello, it’s Bre! I just want to say that I hope everyone has a safe holiday season, a Merry Christmas (or any other holiday you may celebrate) and a Happy New Year! (Also have a happy birthday Tate!) It’s hard to believe that after we return from winter break on January third, the last three or so weeks of the first semester are going to fly by and I will already be halfway through my senior year and continuing the path to my graduation in June of this upcoming New Year in 2017. I want to make a quick shoutout to my teachers: Patty, George, Peter, John, Tate and Shannon for helping me achieve my absolute best at Henderson and for helping me realize that needing help with my school work and academics every now and then isn’t a bad thing, so I want to thank each and every one of them for doing what they do.
I also want to thank every single person who welcomed me on my first day at Henderson Bay in September (crazy to think that it was that long ago!) There are too many names to list but each and every one of you were so accepting and that honestly means the world to me because you guys are incredible and make every day at Henderson worth waking up to come to school! Of course not every day is an A day for me, but I do have more good days than bad days which is such an improvement from when I was at another High School for my first three years of high school. Thank you Henderson for being like a family from me. On behalf of the staff of Henderson Pawz, I’d like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Transitioning from Gig Harbor High to Henderson Bay was an adjustment. In late August when my Mother and I came to the school at 8:00 in the morning to sign up for classes for first semester of the 2016-2017 school year, there were so many thoughts racing through my head. Would I ever see my friends from Gig Harbor High again? What about taking American Sign Language, which had become my love and passion?
Henderson Bay works in a way that is different from most public high schools in a number of ways. For this school year, Henderson introduced a Wednesday curriculum, giving students the opportunity to work one on one with their core teacher, get help with their classes and make up school work including quizzes and tests. I am in favor of the curriculum because during my three years at Gig Harbor High there were times where I would have to retake quizzes and tests after school with my free time on top of managing to complete my homework and assignments. There were even days when I would have to go to my math teacher’s classroom and work around my lunch time to raise my grade.
I wanted to pass my classes, but it seemed to prove a challenge. Balancing friends and school led to severe anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I felt although I was letting my friends down by making the decision to pursue my education over them when they had always been there for me at my lowest of points. Leaving Gig Harbor High to come to Henderson for my final year of high school was a transition. At the beginning of the school year I was (and still am) passing my classes and wondered what the point of coming to school on Wednesday was, but once I started interacting with my core teacher, Shannon I came to the realization that the Wednesday curriculum should not be something students dread, but something they take advantage of and seize.
This has been a full month, concluding with a massive celebration of Halloween costumes. It is always a treat to become someone else for a day and Henderson embraced that aspiration with enthusiasm. I think we all have a secret wish to occasionally step out from behind our masks to reveal a different us.
Have you ever felt that way?
Thanks for viewing our inaugural issue of PAWZ. The staff has worked aggressively to put this issue together. I am especially proud of the team effort and hope you enjoy watching and participating in this endeavor.
We want to grow our publication by including many and much. We welcome contributions. Help us collectively construct and celebrate the rich mosaic of people, activity, art, projects, mood and special events that define this year and this school. ~John