McKenna’s Education Plan Would Force Big Cuts
As part of our role to evaluate fiscal policies, we will continue to provide independent, unbiased analysis on this and other Gubernatorial proposals as they arise.
Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna has a plan to increase funding for education without raising new revenue. Whether this plan will generate enough resources to adequately fund education is not yet clear. What is clear is that this plan would exact a heavy toll on the health and well-being of seniors, people with disabilities, and children. That’s because in order to make this plan work, it would require big cuts to the very things that help Washingtonians thrive such as health care and economic security.
This kind of formula is a bad deal for Washingtonians because it ignores the true costs of providing adequate health care, protecting our environment from pollution and toxins, caring for our aging population, and ensuring our safety.
What’s more, the feasibility of this approach is highly questionable. While we are still working to analyze McKenna’s proposal, analysis we have previously done confirms that revenue will fall far short of meeting Washington’s needs for years to come (see graph). We face shortfalls of $811 million in the next biennium and $1.6 billion in the 2015-17 biennium. This assumes very conservative estimates for growth in spending and revenue.
We must fix our failing revenue system if we are to meet our obligations to fund schools and make even modest investments in health and safety.
Stay tuned for further analysis.