A high-quality public education is the best way to prepare our kids for the careers of the future. This means ensuring that we fund a public education system that works for all children. Regardless of their starting place in society, our educational system should cultivate our children’s unique strengths. It must address the negative impacts of institutional racism so that education can create opportunities for every child to be successful in our community and our economy. In 2018, we worked together in the Washington State Legislature to make major advances in improving education for our young people. We funded an additional $1 billion in well-deserved salary increases for our educators and we funded Breakfast After the Bell, so more of our children will start their day with a full stomach. I will continue to work with my colleagues and community advocates to support the oversight and legislative recommendations provided by the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight & Accountability Committee.
Now, through the newly created Department of Children and Family, we will be evaluating the implementation of these new programs.
On the higher education front, in 2018 we were able to extend the promise of College Bound to students who would be eligible to our Dreamers. College Bound is a program that helps low-income Washington State students with college tuition. We still need to do more on higher education. We still need to fully fund the State Needs Grant program so that all Washington residents can have the promise of education without debt. I also support continuing the tuition freeze and capping university operating fee increases to the average annual growth of the Washington State median hourly wage.