On Wednesday, the Washington State Supreme Court will face off with the Legislature over fully funding public education under the 2012 McCleary decision. As the state grapples with the issue of education funding, residents are left wondering how such a prosperous state -- home to a number of the world’s most iconic and profitable companies and individuals — fails to fully fund even basic education for Washington’s children.
Ultimately, the answer lies in our broken and inefficient state tax system. Our state tax system is the most regressive in the nation, according to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, and yet billions of dollars of taxpayer money underwrite tax breaks and subsidies each year to wealthy corporations that do not need them. This is starving our education system of even the most basic funding.
The only way to properly fund education at all levels, from early learning to college, is to repair our tax system and create new revenue streams for education.