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Kids deserve our first dollar, not our last dime. I have consistently advocated for better schools, key K-12 reforms, and an opportunity for all Washington children to receive a world-class education, regardless of their race, ethnicity, family income or zip code.

My mom was a teacher in Washington State for 25 years, and her father was a teacher before that. My dad’s parents both taught at the Washington State School for the Deaf. Coming from a family of teachers, I’ve always understood the importance of quality education. I’m proud to have been endorsed by Public School Employees of Washington, the union representing 30,000+ educators and other K-12 school support professionals.

Now that I’m a new father, I want good schools more than ever. Schools should have the resources they need to succeed, and we must ensure those resources are used wisely. That’s why I’ve been endorsed once again by Stand for Children, an organization that, like me, “strives to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate high school prepared for, and with access to, college or career training.”

When I was first elected to the Legislature in 2014, the State had already been held in “contempt of court” for failing to constitutionally fund K-12 public schools. A few months later, the Supreme Court ordered a $100,000 per day fine until education was fully funded. Through my work on the House Appropriations and Education Committees and other bipartisan negotiations, I’m proud to have helped create and pass landmark education funding reform legislation last year. The new system will dramatically increase funding for Auburn, Enumclaw, Sumner and White River School Districts (while still reducing total property taxes for those districts starting next year), increase accountability and transparency of your tax dollars, and ensure K-12 funds are spent on things that matter like textbooks and smaller class sizes.

Kids deserve our first dollar, not our last dime. I will continue be your advocate for better schools and better outcomes.