My name is Heidi Harding and I’m all in for great schools.
I am both a teacher and a parent of two kids in Spokane Public Schools, so I know the impact an excellent school can make in a child’s life.
Several years ago, my son had difficulty learning to read and write. Wonderful parent volunteers helped him, and, of course, his mom is a teacher. So I was able to advocate for him.
Since then, he’s been diagnosed with a learning disability. I’ve seen his teachers and school struggle to keep him learning and thriving. He’s had three different special education teachers in four years. All struggle with huge caseloads and a lack of resources.. In spite of these obstacles, my son and I keep trying and finding a way. But we’re one of the luckier ones. We can afford private tutoring to fill the gaps.
I know I am not the only parent worried about my child falling through the cracks. There are families in every corner of Washington worried about their kids and our schools. It doesn’t have to be this way.
We could have the best schools in the country. Our economy is booming and the rich keep getting richer. There’s no reason we can’t invest more in our schools and provide everyone in our state a great education. It takes trainings, tools, supports, and staff to make classrooms safer – not just for my son, but for all kids. If we want thriving communities and great schools, we have to pay for them.
And that means cleaning up the tax code. Right now, working families and the middle class pay a far greater share of their income in taxes than the wealthy. That’s completely upside down. We need to close the wasteful tax breaks powerful special interests have manipulated into the tax code and make sure everyone pays what they owe. That way we can invest more in the foundations of our quality of life, like great schools, quality healthcare, and good infrastructure. We can’t invest in our schools and communities by cutting services and supports that help kids come to school ready to learn. As a mother and a teacher, the need to act is clear to me.