This past week, Gov. Gregoire (D) called a special session of our state legislature. Our revenues are dropping like a rock in a pond and additional deep cuts are needed. She asked us, AWB members at our Policy Summit, to be flexible, look at the situation, and help her and lawmakers solve the problem----which we will.
I'm on the east coast and in church today, there was a speaker talking about the Dominican Republic mission his diocese supports. Like many other faith-based and charitable organizations, the Dioceses of Orlando supports missions in impoverished nation such as the Dominican Republic which next to Haiti.
They dig wells, purify water, build houses and schools, and help the poor find ways out of poverty. Their site is high in the mountains and very remote. The photos reminded me of Huaylas which is high in the Peruvian Andes where our daughter spent the last two years in the Peace Corp with no running hot water, no refrigerators or freezers, no washers or dryers, or ovens.
The Sunday reflection is in America we spend hundreds of billions on education and too much money is necessary to keep our schools safe. We spend billions trying to encourage our students to learn and not be disruptive. Basic education doesn't seem to be valued in America like it is in places such as Peru, the Dominican Republic and other places around the world where it is not readily available. Yet part of the Governor and legislator's job is to find enough tax revenue to fund the K-12 system---a system by our state's constitution must be funded and that is where more than half our taxes are spent.
So when lawmakers convene in Olympia after the November elections, it is education that will be the primary issue of focus. Hopefully, after all of this consternation, students and parents will value education as much as those in impoverished parts of our world and we will focus more attention on learning.
P.S. The same goes for the water, electricity and other essentials we, in America, enjoy each day and often overlook until those services are disrupted. We just need to appreciate all of what we have in our country.
Don C. Brunell, President (DonB@awb.org)