OPINION: Proposition One is Not About Critical Race Theory

Shreya Chandra // The Watchdog.

In less than a week, there will be a special election taking place. On the ballot are three measures to be voted on by those living in the Issaquah School District. One of them is Proposition One. However, just over a week ago, signs started appearing in Issaquah along main roads that read, “KEEP CRT OUT OF ISD [sic] VOTE NO ON PROP 1.” For those who do not know, “CRT” stands for critical race theory, which is a concept that has existed for over 40 years. To boil down an extremely complex subject, the critical race theory teaches that race is a social construct and that racism is embedded into legal systems and public policy, according to Britannica. So it would seem that the most likely proposition that would involve critical race theory taught in classes at the Issaquah School District would have to involve changes to the social studies and language arts curricula. So what is Proposition One?

According to the explanatory statement posted by King County Elections, Proposition One is intended to replace an expiring levy by allowing for $61 million in property taxes to be collected in 2023, $64 million in 2024, $67 million in 2025 and $70 million in property taxes in 2026 in order to fund the Issaquah School District. The money would fund the general expenses of operating the Issaquah School District that was not covered by the state. According to the explanatory statement, those general expenses include things such as employee salaries, instructional materials, special programs, activities and sports, technology systems, extracurricular activities and facility maintenance, among other things. The main opposition to this proposition seems to be the most concerned about the massive increase in property taxes during recent years. It is worth noting that neither the statement supporting, or the statement opposing Proposition One, brings up the critical race theory or any mention of changing the social studies and language arts curricula. The main argument about the ballot measure focuses on property taxes rather than the critical race theory being introduced in the curriculum at the Issaquah School District.

Based on not only the explanatory statement, but the statements in favor and in opposition of Proposition One, it is difficult to find out where the critical race theory comes into play. Furthermore, there is no apparent reason that a levy meant for things such as extracurricular activities, sports and employee salaries would make a difference in whether critical race theory is taught. Based on that information, it seems like voters should not take the advice of the signs, and vote for Proposition One based on whether they want the critical race theory to be taught in the Issaquah School District or not. Rather, they should decide by looking at the statements made by each side, and draw their own conclusion. That being said, the election is on April 26, so make sure you remember to vote.