Education makes up over 38% and $27 billion of the State's current budget. A quality education is also a common characteristic of high income earners and business leaders - those targeted for a potential state income tax in the fall.
Utilize high-school and university students seeking internships (we're approaching fall semester) to solicit WA state individuals who fall into the proposed State income tax thresholds, as well as all Statewide businesses, for contributions to a local school within the county of their residence.
Announce that you will be doing this along with eliminating an income tax proposition from the ballot.
Allow contributing companies to advertise (in moderation and watchdogged) within the schools and recognize the individual contributors in an honorable manner within the school regardless of donation size.
Invite contributors to tour the school and to PTA and school board meetings.
Run a telethon and promote this government changing event. Giving people ownership promotes pride. You will see individuals of all income levels contribute, and companies will compete to have their sponsored school recognized as having the most assets for the kids and supplying a wonderful environment to foster learning.
Include a B&O Tax easement or reduction for companies who make a school-changing contribution.
The interns will get an opportunity to develop their sales skills (a skill every independent business owner and job seeker needs). Corporations will see a small tax benefit, but feel an even greater sense of pride in their philanthropy, as well as impress favorably upon a future workforce, helping to groom the employees and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
No matter our income levels or ethnic backgrounds, I have yet to meet an adult who wouldn't give what they could to help a child. It's amazing how hard we solicit others for money come campaign time and how much is actually contributed. Imagine what we could do if the same type of effort and similar thought process was put in place for the education of our children.
Just imagine that...and getting $27 billion off the books.