I have always had the utmost respect for Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and Edmonds School District Superintendent Nick Brossoit. I have known both men for a very long time, first meeting Superintendent Brossoit when he was principal of Tumwater High School. Both are strongly committed to getting the best quantity and quality of education for our children.
But both have unfortunately missed the boat on their assessment of the legislature’s financial commitment to the McCleary decision. The ability of the 2013 legislature to put a down payment of $1 billion toward the $4 billion goal of the Education Task Force, which I served on, is very, very significant.
And to do this, in combination with a strong budgetary increase to early learning, higher education, and meaningful K-12 reforms, without cutting services to our elderly and vulnerable populations, without tuition hikes, and without imposing new tax burdens on our citizens, should be applauded by educators and parents in every corner of our state.
I welcome the opportunity to co-chair with Sen. David Frockt to report back to the Supreme Court on the progress made by passage of a strong bi-partisan operating budget that is one of the best for education in over a decade. It is time to stop criticizing the state budget for what it did not do (and that was not very much) and for what it did do.
I was proud to help develop and negotiate this budget and equally proud to vote for it - a vote that was duplicated by 90 percent of my colleagues.