Rep. Matt Manweller attempts to direct more funds to career and technical education

On Thursday, during debate on the House operating budget, Rep. Matt Manweller, offered an amendment that would have directed about $21 million to career and technical education.

“I firmly believe we need to change the culture of higher education. We tell students all too often that the path to success is singular in nature. You take college courses, attend the four-year institute and get your degree in a shiny, new frame to hang on the wall,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg. “I hand those degrees out, but that is just one path to success, not the only path. This funding would be used as a reminder to students that there are multiple paths to success.”

The amendment was voted down on a party-line vote, 48-49. The $21 million would have come from the McCleary penalty account, which is accruing $100,000 a day, based on the state Supreme Court fining the Legislature for not fully funding education.
“Not everybody needs a four-year degree. We need more welders, heavy-machinery operators, and people we can put into our manufacturing sector,” said Manweller. “CTE’s allow us to find out what a student’s passion and skill set is, and then they can get the education they desire. Instead of us as educators and parents telling them how they need to be educated.”

House Republicans offered a number of amendments to direct funding to education and higher education issues or programs. Many were rejected along party lines. The budget also passed on a party-line vote, 50-47.

The Senate is expected to pass their supplemental operating budget proposal on Friday, Feb. 26.

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on March 10.

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