The Washington Adequacy Funding Project has just been completed, and the results got me daydreaming about what increased funding, of the magnitude suggested by the report, could do for Seattle schools. The project was carried out by the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), a non-profit organization, in partnership with the University of Oregon's Center for Educational Policy Research (CEPR), and was funded by the Washington Education Association, the state teachers' union.
The report finds that Washington state needs to increase funding by 45% to "amply provide all Washington students with at least a basic education." As reported in the Seattle Times article on this subject today (Study: Raise school outlays $3.5 billion), the study "proposes, for example, that the state fund all-day kindergarten for all students, reduce class sizes from kindergarten through grade 3, and pay many teachers more than they make now."
If you are interested in how EPIC & CEPR arrived at this large a suggested increase in state funding for education, look at the project abstract. What caught my attention in the Seattle Times article is that if such an enormous increase in funding actually occured, Washington state would still not be outspending all other states. Instead, the increase would take Washington from near the bottom in state funding to in the "top 10."
With the current lawsuit by several districts in Washington over inadequate state funding, how to determine "adequate" funding is a hot topic. In fact, two other adequacy studies are currently going on in Washington: the Ample School Funding Project, which began in 2003 and is funded by the Washington Association of School Administrators; and a project that started recently being carried out by Lawrence O. Picus and Associates, funded by Washington Learns and sponsored by the Governor.