The Washington State Senate today approved a proposal I sponsored that prioritizes funding for public education and includes a limit on spending growth for non-education budget items.
We’ve had a clear need – and requirement – to prioritize education in our state’s budget for a long time; still, for some time it’s been everything else that has grown the most. This is a forward-thinking plan that puts in place mechanisms to reverse the past trends in the Legislature, which has been to focus on non-education spending at the expense of our children.
The measure introduces a constraint on the growth of non-education spending, limiting it to inflation and population growth, which would direct an additional $1.5 billion to education during the first four years of implementation. Also included are permanent changes to current revenue streams that move money into the state’s Education Legacy Trust Account so that money is available only for education purposes bringing the total increase in education funding to $3.3 billion.
The plan also lowers the cost of debt payments by transitioning property-tax payments directly into the Education Legacy Trust Account, which effectively lowers the amount of debt the state can assume, freeing up repayment money for education purposes.