Education is sometimes talked about as an economic burden. I cannot disagree more. Every dollar we invest in education pays enormous dividends down the road. In order to remain competitive in a growing global marketplace we must remain committed to a strong public school system.
A strong education system is the foundation of a strong economy, and in order to remain competitive in a growing global marketplace we must remain committed to a strong public school system. It is crucial to recognize that our schools and universities not only provide a positive and healthy learning environment for our children but also create jobs for thousands of Washingtonians while positioning our state for tomorrow.
Fully Funding Kindergarten through 12th Grade Education
Our K-12 Education systems have taken the brunt of the hits over the last several years. Having made these cuts, now we need to decide what caliber of education we want in this state and how we are going to fund it. The budget that the Republican leadership passed in the last days of the regular budget cut an additional $43.9 million from K-12 education and $30.4 million from our colleges and universities.
The truth is that we do not have the billions of dollars needed to fund education without taking action to secure a stable source of revenue. We need to close tax loopholes, raise new taxes, while also fixing existing ones such as B&O. I believe that we want an exceptional educational system and therefore we must be bold in reforming our tax system to prioritize education.
It is crucial to recognize that our schools and universities not only provide a positive and healthy learning environment for our children but also create jobs for thousands of Washingtonians while positioning our state for tomorrow.
No More Cuts to Higher Education
My father, mother and grandmother all taught at the University level, so education was always a priority in my home. As your State Senator it has also been a priority for me in Olympia.
First, we must stop the bleeding. Over the last few decades the burden for the cost of college has been shifting from the state to students and parents. In just the last few years the cost has shifted even more dramatically, with college students having to suffer through huge tuition hikes of up to an additional 25% per year.
Second, we should cap interest rates for state-backed student loans, increase the number of less expensive, online programs available to students, and ensure that the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program is funded so parents can make a down payment on their children's future.
I'm proud to say that were able to avoid cuts to higher education this year and I will work tirelessly to make sure we avoid future cuts next sessions.