One of the bills in the House is HB 1174, a bill that House Republicans have introduced to Fund Education First. As the name suggests, the proposal is to first develop an education budget signed by the governor before any additional appropriations can be made. If enacted, it would be supportive of our work, but at what cost?
This editorial in the Issaquah Press questions the motives of the House Republicans with this proposed legislation.
House Republicans said their proposal to split the budget was meant to address the state Supreme Court’s 2012 decision that the Legislature wasn’t funding education properly. That might be more believable if they hadn’t been pushing the measure every year since 2006.
In reality, the plan had little to do with education and more to do with stripping funding from the sorts of social programs the GOP has never liked to begin with.
If education were funded first, there would be less left over for everything else, and “everything else” contains some important programs which also contribute to education.
I don't question the motives that the editorial raises, but I struggle with the outcome if the bill were to become law. It could mean devastating cuts to non-education programs that support young people and families, cuts that would then impact the capacity of young people to experience success in school. Though I would very much like the stability of an education first budget, it is difficult to support this proposal because of the potential impacts on other current government programs. What are your thoughts, do you support this bill?