Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna said Tuesday that he would spend an additional $1.7 billion on the state's public education obligations and higher education through 2015.
— Rachel La Corte, Associated Press
When Republican Rob McKenna introduced his education plan in July—a press briefing to which The Stranger was not invited—our local media trumpeted his promise to "spend an additional $1.7 billion" on public education. (All without raising taxes!) That was the lede of the AP story that ran in dozens of news outlets, and that, to this day, is what many voters believe McKenna intends to do.
But, it's just not true. As I've already shown by using his own spreadsheet, McKenna's plan relies on a $1.7 billion "Property Tax Swap" that provides no additional funding to our K-12 schools in 2013-2015. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I've shown my math. Double check it.
And it wasn't just the AP's La Corte who echoed McKenna's $1.7 billion claim. Either they all misheard McKenna, or McKenna misled them all. So now that I've debunked McKenna's claim, I fully expect my colleagues to do the best they can to set the record straight.
McKenna says his plan could free up $1.7 billion in new money for K-12 and higher education by 2013-15, fully meeting court-mandated spending for public schools.
— Jim Brunner, Seattle Times
Republican Rob McKenna said last week that he can balance books in 2013-15 and put $1.7 billion more into K-12 schools and higher education by 2015 without raising taxes.
— Brad Shannon, The Olympian
McKenna has (loudly) made increasing education funding his central issue for more than a year. He has talked ad nauseam for over a year about how K-12 funding has dropped from 50 percent of the budget to 41, and he's issued a concrete plan to cap non-education spending and increase education spending by $1.7 billion in the next biennium.
— Josh Feit, PubliCola
McKenna says his plan will provide $1.7 billion for education the first two years, both higher ed and K-12.
— Erik Smith, Washington State Wire
McKenna contends he can come up with $1.7 billion for public schools and colleges in his first budget primarily by redirecting money from non-education programs into classrooms.
— Jerry Cornfield, Everett Herald
Earlier this week McKenna unveiled a plan to spend an additional $1.7 billion on public education and higher education through 2015.
— Mike Faulk, Yakima Herald-Republic