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

We’re hiring!

We currently have two opportunities available to join the Budget & Policy Center’s awesome team. Find out more about our policy analyst position and the Betty Jane Narver fellowship.

Join us for Budget Beat

Learn about the pros and cons of the final supplemental state budget. Sign up for our Budget Beat webinar, "Legislative Session 2018 Wrap-up," featuring our policy experts Kelli Smith, Andy Nicholas, and Julie Watts.

Friday, March 16, 12 – 12:30 p.m.

Sign up today

Our policy priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Testimonies in Olympia

Misha TVW
We're in Olympia throughout the 2018 legislative session to testify in support of bills that advance our legislative priorities. Watch our testimonies on TVW:

Our Seattle Policy Summit

You can watch our Budget Matters 2017 Seattle Policy Summit, which took place on December 6, online. The first part of the day (watch herefeatured Washington State Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib and Race Forward President Glenn Harris. The second part of the day (watch here) featured Budget & Policy Center Senior Policy Analyst Jennifer Tran, and a panel of local leaders moderated by Michael Brown of the Seattle Foundation.