Washington’s tax system is not only regressive, but it has also failed to bring in enough revenue to adequately fund our schools. It is critical that legislators ensure that our state meets its duty to fund education while maintaining health, safety, and opportunity for all our residents.
The budget must include a balanced approach that includes new revenue for education as well as the services and supports that help children learn. Two-thirds of the budget is protected by the state Constitution or federal laws and cannot be cut. The balance includes funding for community colleges and universities, public safety, nutritional assistance, help for people with disabilities, childcare, housing, services for foster children, and supports that help people find jobs.
Cutting human services – especially services benefiting families and children – to help fund education will only deepen education disparity and widen the opportunity gap for our state’s low income children. We urge legislators to focus on changes to our revenue system that will rebuild the economy to work for everyone. We support a balanced approach that includes generating polices that fund safety net programs and advance equity in our state. Additional revenues are necessary to preserve critical programs like Washington Youth and Families Fund, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Basic Health, Working Connections Childcare, and others.
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