No Kidding: Children's Alliance Blog

Washington’s tax system is endangering kids

All children deserve a great start in life. But our state’s tax system puts too many of them in harm’s way. Our tax system is:

Inequitable. Washington’s tax system is the most regressive in the nation: Low-income families pay a much higher proportion of their income than do wealthy families. The racial wealth gap means that children of color are also more likely to live in households that bear a disproportionate share of responsibility for our state’s basic services.

Regressive taxation hurts kids of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, because 4 out of 10 Washington children live in a disproportionately tax-burdened low- or moderate-income home.

Raise Revenue: Our Tax System is Endangering Kids

Created on: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 4:58pm

All children deserve a great start in life. But our state’s tax system puts too many of them in harm’s way.

Revenues as a proportion of the economy have shrunk over the past 15 years, resulting in cuts to basic services. Children in communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by these cuts.

Ending these cuts boosts our economy. Ending the 25 percent cut to State Food Assistance would generate more than $17 million in economic activity through June 2017.

Priorities for kids in the House and Senate budgets

House and Senate budget leaders have each released their guiding documents for state spending over the next two years. Here’s a summary of how they address priorities for Washington’s kids:

Resolving that no child’s future should be hindered by inadequate nutrition, the House would restore full funding to food assistance for qualified immigrant families. The Senate maintains funding at current levels, 25 percent less than federal food stamps.

The KIDS COUNT in Washington Racial Equity Policy Tool

 

Our public policies—the laws, budgets, rules and other decisions of elected representatives—can either help kids succeed or put obstacles in their path. Racial equity assessment tools can shape our public choices so that they enhance every child’s access to opportunity. 

Home visiting is a powerful tool for families


Home visiting helps parents get their children off to the best possible start in life. But right now, this highly needed service needs your support.

At the end of March, federal funding for home visiting is set to expire without congressional action to extend the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. MIECHV has allowed an additional 1,300 Washington families to receive home visiting services.  

Statement in support of the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act

We support the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act in the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session. It is a double win for kids.

Climate stability is good for kids. A warming planet, and related environmental changes, negatively impacts all life and particularly children and families with the fewest resources.

An equal start to the school day

 

From left: Sandra Schafer, teacher in Highline School District, with Aki Kurose middle school students Elena Uncango and Ashley Clark and Aki Kurose staff member Rayonna Tobin. They traveled from Seattle to Olympia Wednesday to voice their support for House Bill 1295 / Senate Bill 5437.

One of the most treasured parts of our state Constitution is Article IX, section 1, the guarantee for Washington families of a basic education for their children.

As courts, governing officials, parents and policymakers now know, we have fallen short in this promise to kids. 

One of the ways that educational inequity shows up in the lives of children is when local tax levies help schools with higher-value property raise more money. America’s legacy of racial discrimination restricted children of color to poorer communities. Because of this, the schools that are financially under-resourced are tasked with educating the children most vulnerable to household hunger. This disparity is another feature of the opportunity gap between children of color and children in low-income families and kids growing up in more affluent school districts.

We can do something, this session, to close that gap by passing House Bill 1295 / Senate Bill 5437, ensuring that more children in high-poverty areas have the fuel to learn all day.

The Early Start Act: Why culturally relevant care matters

Opportunities for positive change don’t come along every day. But right now, we have the historic opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of children. Together, we can seize it.

The bipartisan Early Start Act, sponsored by Sen. Steve Litzow (R – Mercer Island) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D – Seattle), would integrate the latest findings on how children learn into the everyday lives of Washington’s babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The bill would:

What's at Stake for Kids in Olympia in 2015

 

The New Year brings a new legislative session, with new challenges and new opportunities for Washington’s kids. 

In order to make sure kids are put at the center of government’s concern this year, it’s helpful to know who holds power, and how, in the State capitol.

Advocates at the Capitol Steps, January 2014.

The fall 2014 elections resulted in a state Senate majority of 25 Republicans and a minority of 24 Democrats. In the House, a 51-member Democratic majority holds power, while Republicans hold the remaining 47 seats.

Each elected representative works within the political party of his or her choice. Within the House and Senate, these parties meet as a unit. They are called caucuses. The caucus is a closed forum for discussing ideas and proposing action. One Senate Democrat, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch), chooses to meet in his Republican colleagues’ caucus.  This is the Majority Coalition Caucus.

Initiative 1351, concerning K-12 education


During election season, the Children’s Alliance analyzes statewide ballot measures. Whether we support, oppose, or don’t get involved is based on the answer to one fundamental question:  Is it good for kids and for racial equity?

Today, we announce our opposition to Initiative 1351 concerning K-12 education.