Education Plans Move Forward In Washington Legislature

Feb 22, 2017

The Washington Legislature has reached a milestone in its court-ordered quest to amply fund schools. Both chambers have now passed education funding plans.

The House vote happened Wednesday. But negotiating a final compromise could take months.

The House Democrats’ plan would increase school funding by more than $7 billion over the next four years. Much of the money would go to take the pressure off local school levies to fund teacher and administrator pay.

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said their plan is a crucial step toward a solution.

“Let’s sit down and figure it out for our students, but let’s start by voting for this bill,” Sullivan said.

But Democrats haven’t settled on a way to fund their plan. That prompted pushback from Republicans like state Rep. David Taylor.

“Show me the money!” he said.

Democrats have talked about raising taxes or adopting a new capital gains or carbon tax to fund schools.

The Republican-led Washington state Senate, approved its own education funding measure in early February. It would raise the state property tax and lower local school levies.