Local Politics

Another WA education funding plan joins the mix

SEATTLE - Another government proposal for increasing state dollars for Washington public schools was dropped into the already overloaded cart on 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, the governor said he wanted to close tax exemptions and put another $130 million into public schools needs like textbooks and computers. He also wants to put $70 million in salary increases for teachers and other school staff.

Earlier this week, the Senate's majority caucus proposed using just over $38 million to pay for technology-related materials and supplies for classrooms.

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 like textbooks and salary increases for educators.

House leaders say they will present their budget plans on Wednesday.