Schmudget Blog

Children's Success Requires More than Just K-12 Education

Posted by Lori Pfingst at Apr 24, 2013 05:55 PM |

Yesterday the Senate approved a proposal to fund education at the expense of all other investments kids need to succeed (Senate Bill 5895).  This short-sighted approach undermines the foundation of opportunity our children need to prepare for school and life.

Beginning in 2015, the Senate bill would attempt to fund court-mandated education reforms by limiting spending on public safety, health care and all other areas of state investment to an arbitrary formula (the rate of inflation plus population growth).

While a high-quality education is essential to prepare kids for the future, they also need secure families, safe neighborhoods, and quality health care. Washington state makes a number of investments that help ensure our state’s children have these essentials:

  • Health care.  The Apple Health for Kids program ensures that over 700,000 children in Washington state can afford to see a doctor when they get sick.
  • Family Security.  The Working Connections Child Care program provides over 25,000 low-income families with assistance to find affordable child care so they can work, and their children have the early learning opportunities they need to prepare for school.
  • Foster care. Washington state provides support to the over 10,000 children who rely on the foster care system for a stable home.
  • Safe neighborhoods. State funding for firefighters, police officers, and gang prevention programs keeps our neighborhoods safe so children can play outside.
  • Good quality of life. State investments protect our natural resources and guarantee that our water and air are clean.    

kids need more

Funding education at the expense of everything else is the wrong approach for Washington state’s kids.  Instead, lawmakers should develop a long-term plan that provides adequate and sustainable resources to allow our children to thrive.   There are plenty of good options to choose from.  We could raise additional revenue by ending ineffective tax breaks, enacting a capital gains tax, or modernizing our tax system by expanding the sales tax to include some services. 

The Senate bill presumes we can’t afford to make all of the investments we need for our children to succeed in school and life – but the truth is we can’t afford not to make these investments.  Our collective well-being depends on our children having the opportunities they need to reach their full potential in life. 
 

Document Actions
HIGHLIGHTS

GiveBig logo for web 2017

GiveBIG Is May 10!

A gift to the Washington State Budget & Policy Center supports our work to advance a just and prosperous state for all Washingtonians! Early giving starts on April 27.

 

We're Seeking Board Members

Want to engage more deeply with the work of the Budget & Policy Center? Then consider joining our Board of Directors! We are looking for three new board members this year. Click here for details.

Watch Our Budget Beat Webinars

We host regular Budget Beat webinars throughout legislative session to bring you updates and breaking news from Olympia and timely policy analysis. Visit our YouTube channel to watch our previous Budget Beats. 

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team is in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our recent testimonies on TVW:
Misha TVW

View Our School Funding Plenary 

Roxana_BMC_plenary_2016View the Budget Matters 2016 conference plenary, "What's at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and Beyond." Moderated by Ann Dornfeld of KUOW, the plenary features Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year; Lew Moore of the Washington Research Council; Roxana Norouzi of OneAmerica; and Sen. Christine Rolfes. The plenary starts after an intro by Executive Director Misha Werschkul and an intro video by Gov. Inslee.