OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington's next governor is projected to start the job with a growing budget. That extra revenue may not be enough to fulfill the state's education funding obligations.
A forecast released this week said state revenue will grow by about 3.5 percent per year for the two-year cycle beginning in July 2013. But many of those gains will be consumed by general growth in state government, such as the resumption of cost-of-living adjustments for teachers.
Gov. Chris Gregoire's budget director estimated that political leaders will face a relatively flat budget. Meanwhile, lawmakers expect to need an extra $1 billion to put into education.
The forecasts are challenging for the top gubernatorial candidates.
They have claimed the state can begin providing much more money toward the education system without raising taxes.