Budget, Finance & RevenueEducation & Jobs

I-1351 vs. 2-year colleges — and much else

Initiative 1351, which passed narrowly this month, was a smart bomb aimed squarely at Washington’s higher education and social welfare systems.

The initiative ordered the Legislature to pump immense amounts of money into additional staff at the state’s public schools – $4.7 billion just through 2019. Yet it provided no revenues to do it, guaranteeing that the money would have to be diverted from other priorities. It even threatens to hamstring the Legislature’s efforts to comply with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary order to invest more in textbooks, busing and other educational basics.