House GOP budget adds $550 million to education

Republicans aim to balance budget without new tax increases

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OLYMPIA — A budget developed by House Republicans would add about $550 million to K-12 education in Washington state.

Republican Rep. Gary Alexander unveiled the proposal Thursday afternoon, saying the state can balance the budget without new tax increases.

Alexander's plan includes adding about $800 million to education in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that says the state isn't adequately funding basic education. However, his budget plan would also suspend automatic cost-of-living increases for teachers, saving some $300 million.

Some lawmakers have argued that the state needs to add some $1 billion to education this year in order to satisfy the Supreme Court.

The spending plan for the next two-year cycle would separately cut state agency budgets by 2 percent. It embraces projected state savings that come with President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.