Tuesday, January 19, 2016

McCleary Already (says Dorn)

State Superintendent Randy Dorn continues to speak out against the "kick the can down the road" methodology of the Legislature to enact McCleary.

Here's his latest press release (and please e-mail your reps and tell them NO:)

Staff from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) testified yesterday on Senate Bill 6195 (SB 6195), known as the “plan to plan” bill, and SB 6183, which will delay a decrease, currently set for 2018, in the amount school districts can raise in local levies.
“SB 6195 and SB 6183 would delay progress toward our constitutional requirement to fully fund basic education,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “In fact, both bills make the situation worse.”
We have studied education funding over and over again:
Early 2000s: The bipartisan Fromhold/Cox committee produced a study.
2006: Washington Learns produced a study.
2007: The Joint Task Force on Basic Education Finance produced a study.
2009: The Quality Education Council produced a study.
2011: Compensation Technical Working Group produced a study.
2012: The Joint Task Force on Education Funding produced a study.

They’ve all concluded the same thing: Our state is not fulfilling its paramount constitutional duty to fund basic education. SB 6195 is another stall tactic. It’s time to act.
School districts are understandably concerned about a reduction in the amount they can raise in local levies, slated to occur in 2018, unless the State passes a bill like SB 6183. If the State isn’t fully funding their expenses related to basic education, they are left to make up the difference using local money. They simply cannot afford a reduction.

For example, the State pays only a fraction of what it costs to employ teachers and staff. In Bellingham, the State pays an average of $53,700 per certificated teacher, but the school district actually pays an average salary of $69,071, leaving the district to pay the $15,371 difference out of local levy dollars.

This is wrong. The State must figure out a way fully fund those salaries, along with the rest of their basic education obligations. Passing SB 6183 and allowing some school districts to maintain very high levies enables the state to continue to kick this can down the road.

Paying for the salaries of those who provide basic education services is not the purpose of levies. Levies were created so districts could provide students with enrichment beyond basic education, according to priorities of the local community.

What the State has created is a situation in which some school districts can afford to provide their students with a 21st-century education and some districts cannot, because of a lack of local property taxes. This is clearly a violation of civil rights because districts with a high number of poor and minority students are disproportionately affected.

The House takes up these two issues tomorrow in House Bill 2366 (HB 2366) and HB 2361. OSPI will testify at these hearings as well and will come out strongly on the side of students.

5 comments:

Nick Esparza said...

Under the McCleary decision, the Washington state Supreme Court found that the state should fund public education. The justices ruled that, “Pouring more money into an outmoded system will not succeed.' They also found that “special interests tend to distort the true picture of public school finance to expand their own budgets.”
Under this ruling, it is illegal for Seattle Public Schools to use levy money to fund teacher salaries; however, they are trying to sell this operations levy to the public by allotting 25.2% of the overall budget to just this. The literature that has been sent out to the public obfuscates this fact. Furthermore, the District says it has cut the budget of Central Administration to 5.8%, but have in actuality have separated it out of the “school administrative budget” (6.1%) In total that is almost 12%.
If the District wants to play the shell game with public dollars, it's our responsibility to reject this levy. They pull at the public's heartstrings by saying, “but it's for the children. “ But according to their lack of transparency, we aren't who the money is for. Until Seattle Public Schools can better, (and legally) account for where your levy dollars go, I would encourage a “no “ vote on this levy on February 9, 2016.
https://www.gofundme.com/scfjbxtk
http://seattlepublic2013.blogspot.com/

SeattlePublic said...

Under the McCleary decision, the Washington state Supreme Court found that the state should fund public education. The justices ruled that, “Pouring more money into an outmoded system will not succeed.' They also found that “special interests tend to distort the true picture of public school finance to expand their own budgets.”
Under this ruling, it is illegal for Seattle Public Schools to use levy money to fund teacher salaries; however, they are trying to sell this operations levy to the public by allotting 25.2% of the overall budget to just this. The literature that has been sent out to the public obfuscates this fact. Furthermore, the District says it has cut the budget of Central Administration to 5.8%, but have in actuality have separated it out of the “school administrative budget” (6.1%) In total that is almost 12%.
If the District wants to play the shell game with public dollars, it's our responsibility to reject this levy. They pull at the public's heartstrings by saying, “but it's for the children. “ But according to their lack of transparency, we aren't who the money is for. Until Seattle Public Schools can better, (and legally) account for where your levy dollars go, I would encourage a “no “ vote on this levy on February 9, 2016.
https://www.gofundme.com/scfjbxtk
http://seattlepublic2013.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Apparently even the legislature can't dig their way into school districts' budgets.
The budgets are so cryptic that the legislature needs half a million dollars just to sort them out?

The complexity and obfuscation is maddening. The state needs to move to a streamlined per student or per employee payment system. Put a 5% cap on a bonus local unions can try to get the voters to fund out of local levies.

Public school finance needs to be cleaned up and simplified so the average voter can understand what is going on. Like said above, shell games indeed.

-NNNCr

NO 1240 said...

Dorn is not to be trusted or respected. He is working with the Mary Walker School District- a tiny school district of 500 students- to expand charter schools via ALE.

Patrick said...

Yes, No 1240, he is and I'm not happy about that. However, Dorn has been consistent about using what influence he has to push for McCleary implementation as well.