Education--Fund Education First
It seems every campaign in the country claims our students deserve a quality education. So why would we bet on a tax increase to fund it? Washington State's Constitution is clear--Education is the primary duty of the state.
Funding education first would take the politics out of the classroom and would deliver financial assurance and peace of mind to concerned parents, teachers and students. The courts have ruled that programs and offerings falling within the legislative definition of basic education are considered non discretionary and must be funded regardless of budgetary constraints. There is precedence for a separate education budget. Washington State currently operates three of them, an Operating Budget, a Capital Budget and a Transportation Budget.
If education is the great equalizer and we know it reduces poverty, the answer in our state is to invest in education first.