Governor Inslee proposes to expand early child education

SEATTLE — The children were ready for the holidays when they greeted Gov. Jay Inslee at the Jose Marti Early Child Education Center.

Based at Seattle's El Centro De La Raza, it's the kind of Head Start pre-school program Inslee is expanding in his budget.

The governor's budget plan pays for more Early Childhood education classrooms-- enough for 2,700 more students statewide.

Lourdes Morales has one child attending here, another has graduated.

"This program has been really helpful for us as parents and also for our kids to transition to a bigger school," she said.

But expanding pre-school plus fully funding education from kindergarten through high school comes with a price.

The governor is asking for $4 billion in higher taxes. Most come from businesses and wealthy investors.

At a hearing in Olympia, anti-tax initiative sponsor Tim Eyman told lawmakers the taxes will never fly.

“If these were passed, we could do an initiative to overturn them and it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. There's no way voters would support these tax increases,” said Eyman

When we asked the question of the governor he responded in the spirit of the season. “Seriously fund education this year, takes dollars, big dollars, we're talking billions of dollars. I will tell you, I do believe in Santa Claus but I don't believe he's going to be able to bail us out of this fiscal problem."

We asked Morales if it was worth higher taxes, “Is it worth it? It is of course it is. This is their future, this is our future, this is the country's future.

While Republicans in the state Senate have already come out strongly against the new taxes, Gov. Inslee believes he can work with them to find common ground.

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