As the scheduled 60-day legislative session nears the halfway mark, House Republicans say they’re waiting no longer for the majority democrats to come up with a budget. On Thursday, the Republicans released the first budget proposal of the session. It would separate education from the remainder of the operating budget and fund it first. The House Republican education budget builds on legislation known as “fund education first.” The concept is simple: don’t wait until the rest of the money is spent on other state programs before appropriating money for education. Use the first dollars in the budget for education. House Republican floor leader Representative Charles Ross of Naches says it’s time to fund education first and stop using budgeting gimmicks and holding children hostage for a tax increase. unlike the governor’s proposal, the house republican education budget would fully fund levy equalization for school districts with lower property values. It would provide $580 million dollars more for education than the governor. Plus it would fund education within existing revenues - and without tax increases as the governor wants. Although passage of the legislation is a long-shot, House Republicans believe it will change the debate over education funding.