Another government proposal for increasing state dollars for Washington public schools was dropped into the already overloaded cart Tuesday.
The proposal from Senate Democrats gives lawmakers another option for answering a Supreme Court order to improve the way education is paid for. The court’s last communication with the Legislature asked for a concrete plan by April 30.
In January, Gov. Jay Inslee said he wanted to close tax exemptions and put another $130 million into public schools needs such as textbooks and computers. He also wants to put $70 million in salary increases for teachers and other school staff.
In a statement released Tuesday, he said, “The Senate Democrats today presented a sound plan that puts our children ahead of tax breaks and moves us forward on funding education. This is a proposal that acknowledges we have significant work remaining to meet our McCleary obligation. This plan shows students, educators, parents and the court that we’re serious about funding our paramount duty.”
On Tuesday, Senate Democrats proposed closing about $100 million in tax exemptions and putting that money into class-size reductions, all-day kindergarten, basic costs such as textbooks and salary increases for educators.
Earlier this week, the Senate’s majority caucus proposed using just over $38 million to pay for technology-related materials and supplies for classrooms.
House leaders say they will present their budget plans on Wednesday.