By Evan Smith
Incumbent Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Ruth Kagi and Republican challenger Alvin Rutledge recently sent statements about what the legislature should do to comply with the court order to provide full state support for basic public education.
The 32nd District includes Lynnwood, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, south Edmonds, Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle.
Here are statements from the candidates in the order they will appear on the November ballot.
Ruth Kagi (Prefers Democratic Party)
The Supreme Court ruling mandates an estimated $2 billion increase to K-12 education next session. The Great Recession resulted in deep funding cuts to schools, social services, higher education and much more. Revenue from our rebounding economy is not enough to meet the needs of our growing state.
The legislature must find new revenue in the next session if we are to have a well funded education system without decimating our safety net and higher education.
Investment in early learning is imperative to improving education outcomes for children. I will support an education package that includes funding for early learning.
Al Rutledge (Prefers Republican Party)
To be able to comply with the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision any requested 2015-2017 education budget must be kept at the 2013 level. The Legislature – by court mandate – must fully fund that budget by making the issue the first order of business in the session.
The Constitution guarantees every child an education. Consequently, if elected, I will seek to sponsor a bill to amend state law so that starting with the 2017-2018 biennium, education will have two budget components: “basic education” which would include only primary and secondary education, and “pre-primary education” which would include only childhood and kindergarten education.