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Schools

This is a fact: The City of Seattle has no jurisdiction over any other constitutionally instituted political or social entity within or without the boundaries of the City. For example, the City of Seattle has no jurisdiction over the Seattle School District in matters of policy, procedure and curriculum. However, the paramount functions of government are to guarantee the people's right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and to provide public safety, which transcend the powers of all other jurisdictions. Accordingly, I am addressing four School District issues I consider within the province of the City -- excess property tax levies, personnel "background check" process, quid pro quo between the City and School District, and the WASL.

The School District has become an expert at extracting excess property taxes for "education programs," although such levies can be submitted only to supplement activities "not related to the state's basic education program" (RCW84.52.0531). It's deceitful for the District to insinuate that such revenues are being used to educate the child. Yet, the City condones and encourages the District's actions, without question.

As Mayor, I propose to give levy opponents a voice in the process. I will also help ensure the School District delivers what it promises by requesting the School Board subject its tax measures to independent performance audits. As a candidate, I have already pledged the City will do the same.

Essentially, such subtle District endorsements initiate the type of relationship that subsequently corrupts government. In this case, each "payback" by the City to the District insidiously erodes the way of life of average Seattleites by depriving them of disposable income, the right to fair and impartial representation, and the integrity of our political system. As Mayor, I will do my part to eliminate this quid pro quo relationship.

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