Improving education in our backyard and beyond
January 21, 2014
By Andy Hill and Steve Litzow
As state senators representing Sammamish, in addition to much of King County’s Eastside, we were sent to Olympia to address our community’s priorities: education, transportation, public safety and responsible budgeting.
As members of the community who have spent time in the classroom and converse with our friends and neighbors, parents and teachers, small-business owners and large employers, we share the number-one priority to educate all children for the future good of our state.
While our area features some of the best public-school districts in Washington, the schools, districts and state should continually look for ways to improve and embrace innovation.
Furthermore, we appreciate the discussions we have with area residents who, like us, are not only concerned about education in our own backyard, but with providing a 21st-century education to all students throughout the entire state of Washington. Children who receive a quality education grow up more capable of fully participating in democracy and competing for good jobs.
As leaders of the Senate’s budget and education committees we’re committed to a system that works for all children.
When we first had the opportunity to craft the state budget in 2013, we provided an additional $1 billion for basic education, kept tuition from rising at state colleges and universities for the first time since 1986, and did both without general tax increases.
It was a great first step toward meeting our goals and demonstrated substantive change in how Olympia sets and fulfills its priorities.
With 2014 comes another opportunity to plan for necessary education-funding increases while researching and moving forward with systemic reforms that will make a difference.
During the coming months of the short 60-day session that began Jan. 13, we are committed to continue working with our colleagues in the Senate, House of Representatives and governor’s office in a bipartisan manner to find solutions and get results.
The effects of improved educational outcomes are good for Sammamish and good for Washington.
?Sen. Andy Hill, of Redmond, represents the northern half of Sammamish and is chairman of the Senate budget-writing committee. Sen. Steve Litzow, of Mercer Island, represents the southern half of Sammamish and is chairman of the Senate’s education committee.