Greetings Friends and Neighbors!
During this second special session of the Legislature, budget negotiators are still working together to find common ground on funding the real priorities of state government, and prioritize investments in our state’s K-12 system. I have been busy visiting schools in our community, meeting with students and teachers to understand their concerns and needs as we work toward an equitable education-funding solution.
I appreciate the many thoughtful questions that have come my way, and have been happy to explain why I believe that the Senate’s Education Equality Act is a bold and innovative solution to our state’s education-funding responsibility. What it really boils down to is a choice between raising $8 billion in taxes as the House Democrats want, or our reform that uses the considerable resources already coming to the state to drive more dollars into a system that puts students first. Even after raising taxes, the House proposal still puts less money toward education.
You may have heard or read attack ads that paint a gloomy scenario if our plan were to be adopted. However, the Tacoma News Tribune recently fact-checked those claims. So, here is the reality…
Claim 1: The Senate Republican budget “doesn’t increase funding” for the state’s public schools.
The facts: The school-funding plan put out by Senate Republicans would increase money for public schools by a minimum of $871 million over the next two years, according to an analysis by the state Office of Financial Management. That’s after taking into account how much the plan would reduce local school-district property taxes, which is a key element of the Republican plan. Click here to see specifically how levy rates will be effected in our community.
Claim 2: “The Senate Republican budget slashes funding for special education.”
The facts: According to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, keeping up with the rising cost of special-education services in Washington would cost the state about $965 million in the 2018-19 school year.
The Senate budget plan would surpass that number, putting about $1.1 billion into special-education services that year, according to OSPI. The GOP budget plan also would provide more than the state needs to maintain special-education services each of the next two school years, according to OSPI’s analysis.
Click here to read more, unbiased fact-checks on claims made by special interest groups.
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