OLYMPIA — House Republicans, who say they've been essentially shut out of the budgeting process in a session when the budget was supposed to be the main thing the Legislature tackled, will be releasing their plans for K-12 programs today.
They call it “Fund Education First”, something that various Republicans of both chambers have suggested over the years in pointing out that basic education in the state's public schools is the “paramount duty” under the state Constitution.
This effort, however, would be more than a slogan because it would put down on paper what education programs they think the state should pay for. It's not a full budget — other spending priorities will be released later — but it would provide voters with a view of how their education priorities would differ from the supplemental budget Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed in November. At this point, that's the only other budget that exists in a form to which comparisons can be made.