Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Legislative Updates - Levy Cliff Edition

From Washington's Paramount Duty Facebook page:

The bill, HB 1059, simply ensures districts don't have to lay off teachers and staff and cut millions this Spring, but delays it until full funding is supposed to occur.  That's all it does.

Every member marked R voted NOT TO DELAY THE LEVY CLIFF.

It squeaked by anyway, thank goodness.


Kathryn Russell Selk OK, house bill is HB 1059, senate bill is SB 5023. In the House, it has gotten out of the appropriations committee and will go to the full house, so you need to talk to the reps on that. SB 5023 HASN'T EVEN GOT A VOTE yet, so they need to pushed on that. Hope that helps!

Jessica Williams-Nguyen I just watched the House Appropriations Committee Exec Session where they discussed this. Republicans were saying that passing it now, early in the session, sends the message that legislators aren't even trying to provide full funding. That's really rich since Republicans aren't even willing to put forward a plan. 

Translation: "We don't really want to give up the blade hanging above the heads of schools. That would give us less leverage to force Dems to take an anti-progressive compromise because we all know that their biggest weakness is that they actually care about people."

Kathy Smith Here is the message: Principals and districts are in the midst of preparing budgets and teachers will be getting pink slips due to timelines and uncertain state funding which includes levy dollars. Low income schools will be most impacted.
Please encourage individuals to call the Senate Education Committee. Here is a sample script: 
Hi, my name is______. I am calling to encourage the Senate to provide a hearing for SB 5023. SB 5023 will delay the levy cliff. The House has already passed the companion bill ( HB 1059) out of committee. The state is failing to fund education and some districts rely heavily on levy dollars. Some districts are reliant on levy dollars to fund 24-28% of operational costs- which includes teacher salaries. Districts and principals are in the midst of creating budgets and there is much uncertainty. The timeline and Collective Bargaining Agreements require the district to deliver pink slips to teachers before state funding is known and high poverty schools will suffer the most. 
The levy cliff is a manufactured crisis that is creating uncertainty in our schools. This is a time sensitive issue and please address this issue immediately. Thank you!
Please consider contacting the Chair (Senator Zeiger) and Vice Chair ( Senator Fain) of the Senate Education Committee and ask that SB 5023 be given a hearing. I recommend contacting Senator Ann Rivers, too. Principals and districts are in the midst of creating budgets, and teachers will be receiving pink slips.
Maxalet Tenfyelesh I just wrote Hans Zeiger using Kathy Smith's verbiage with changes due to the fact that I was sending an email. His email address is : Editor's note; Senator Zeiger is the head of the Senate Education Committee.


Anonymous said...

Melissa-- I contacted Senator Ann Rivers unfortunately here was her reply:

"I can’t support a levy cliff bill. Not because I hate schools, teachers, administrators, paras, or children. Rather, it is the only forcing function that we have to keep everyone at the table to solve the McCleary issue once and for all. If we solve the levy cliff piece, I feel certain that there will be many who would think that we have done our work and walk away. I can’t speak for the Democrat solution, but I know the Republican solution removes the need for the levy cliff bill. It seems that we both want the same thing but that we have differing strategy that will get us there.

Warmly - Ann


Charlie Mas said...

I'm sorry, but what is the Republican solution?

And who in the legislature would think that if they extended the levy cliff then they have done their work? I can't imagine how any of them could possibly think that.

Confused said...

Who exactly in the legislature is blocking a plan to fully fund schools? What is their agenda?