New Campaign Proposes Slight Increase in Sales Tax to Support Funding for Cultural Education
A new Seattle-based campaign proposed a small increase in sales tax to benefit students’ cultural learning opportunities. Access for All, a ballot initiative to provide additional funding for arts, science and heritage education for the students of King County, presented its case to the King County Council on Mar. 21. If approved, the initiative would affect all 19 King County school districts. By raising King County’s sales tax 0.1 percent, the initiative would increase funding by $70 million and benefit nearly 400 community-based institutions throughout the county.
According to Assess for All, this initiative would allow local institutions to “partner with local school districts to ensure all students are able to experience hands-on science education and have access to the region's many museums, historical and cultural institutions.” Local institutions include the Seattle Aquarium, the Holocaust Center for Humanity, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve, the 5th Avenue Theater, the Seattle Symphony, Pacific Science Center and Artist Trust.
Here’s what a few of the institutions had to say about Access for All:
"Funding Access for All raises our entire community. It's urgent that we not leave anyone behind." — Bob Davidson, president and CEO of the Seattle Aquarium
"Learning about this important event and the lessons it can teach us today is up to nonprofit support. We provide transportation funding and teacher training where we can, but there are still too many kids who never learn about the Holocaust in school. With more funding from Access for All, we could provide more education on this important subject for more public school students." — Ilana Cone Kennedy, director of education for the Holocaust Center for Humanity
"We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to explore the natural world and learn about conservation. Though we already greatly subsidize the cost of environmental science opportunities for public school groups, funding is still a major barrier for many students. Access for All will mean that more students will have the opportunity to explore their surroundings, feed their curiosity and learn about the rich history of the Puget Sound Region." — Emily Carlson, education and restoration manager for the SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve
If the King County Council approves Access for All’s proposal, residents will be able to vote to approve the initiative in the August ballot.