The Senate proposed budget won’t work for Washington’s kids.
This budget proposal falls short of what children in Washington need to be successful in school and in life.
It puts the brakes on our steady progress to ensure that Washington kids enter kindergarten ready to learn.
The first five years of a child’s life is a critical window to make a positive difference in educational opportunity. Early learning is a solid way of leveraging the returns from the billions of increased dollars proposed for K-12 education. But this budget goes backwards on early learning.
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is proven to put preschool children on a firm path of achievement in K-12. When poverty and other barriers tip the scales of child development toward the negative, ECEAP tips them back toward a good education, a good job, and a good life.
But under this budget, 3- and 4-year-old children in need of quality pre-K get a waiting list instead.
This budget misses an important opportunity to restructure services for children, youth and families. We urge the Senate to include the funding for House Bill 1661 in the budget.
This budget fails to include new revenue to fund both the education continuum and the services and supports that allow children to learn.
We are also concerned about multiple budget cuts to programs that support kids and families, including to State Food Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and child care.
We all have a stake in our kids’ future. We urge the Senate to reconsider this budget.