Tell me what you think. From the OSPI press release:
The State is currently under a court order to produce a complete plan
showing how it intends to achieve full state funding of K-12 basic
education without the use of local funding. Superintendent Randy Dorn
has introduced a plan makes two significant modifications to current law
regarding full funding: 1), It reduces class size in grades 4 through
12, but not as much as voter-approved Initiative 1351; and 2), It
extends the timeline for achieving full funding from 2018 to 2021. The
extension is a realistic timeline to hire more teachers and build more
classrooms to accommodate the new class-size limits.
Below is a summary of the complete plan:
The State must:
- Complete the funding of House Bill 2776. In their McCleary decision,
the State Supreme Court requires the State to fund HB 2776, which
includes statewide full-day kindergarten; lower K–3 class size;
materials, supplies, and operating costs; and transportation. The House
and Senate budgets proposals would make significant progress to get this
- Reduce class size in grades 4–12. The Dorn plan recommends reducing class size to 24 in grades 4–6 and 27 in grades 7–12.
- Hire additional support staff. The Supreme Court also cites need to fund the “prototypical school model,” as defined in HB 2261.
The model includes increasing the number of para-educators, librarians,
school nurses, guidance counselors, office and technology support,
custodians, and classified staff to keep students safe.
- Fund more teachers, more classrooms. As class sizes decrease,
we must ensure we have high-quality teachers prepared to enter the
profession — and space for them to work. This is the biggest obstacle to
meeting the 2018 deadline.
- Reform the compensation system. The state must fund the
salaries and benefits for all staff who provide basic education.
Eliminating the use of levy funding should lead to a system of statewide
collective bargaining, rather than local bargaining, and include
regional cost-of-living adjustments. In addition, we should provide K–12
health insurance through a statewide benefit program similar to the
plan now used by state employees.
- Reform the levy system. Legislation is needed to clearly
define the appropriate uses of local levy funds and redefine
supplemental contracts. The cost of providing an equitable high-quality
basic education to all students is a state responsibility. Passing off
this obligation to districts puts a burden on local taxpayers that is
unfair and inequitable to districts, making it more difficult to close
achievement gaps. This goes beyond being an educational issue. It is a
civil rights issue.
- Review & update education provisions regularly. HB 2261
established the Quality Education Council (QEC) to direct the
implementation of the prototypical school model. The QEC established
several workgroups, including the Compensation Technical Working Group.
It should create two new workgroups: one to design a better process to
recruit and retain teachers, and the other to monitor the evolving
definition of “basic education.”