Thursday, April 20, 2017

Regional Superintendents Send White Paper to Legislature

A letter of interest called "An Educational Funding Position Paper Submitted by the Superintendents of the NW Educational Service District 189 Region" was send to the Governor, State Superintendent Rykdal, and members of the Washington State Legislature on March 23, 2017.


I do not know if this kind of letter is being considered in the King County districts but I'll ask SPS.

Ostensibly, it's about fully funding public education.  But one point - on collective bargaining - stands out.
We are unanimous in our stance that collective bargaining must be reformed. At a minimum, "guardrails" or "bumpers" must be in place that prohibit bargaining of local levy resources for basic education duties and responsibilities.  Without reform of collective bargaining - particularly around use of local levy resources - we are strongly concerned that a significant new investment of State resources will not produce the outcomes and program improvements the Legislature intends.  We are further concerned that absent a reform of collective bargaining as it currently exists, a regression to the current unconstitutional funding system at some point in the future is a certainty.
Indeed, much of the paper is about funding and teacher issues including TRI pay, state salary schedule, health benefits, salary increments, PD, cost of living, etc.

To note,
We do not support bonus or merit systems and view them as both inherently unreliable to administer and destructive to building and sustaining a collaborative district and school culture that best serves all children.
But they do support "regionalization or poverty factors" to retain teachers.

In addition:
As the Legislature implements a program of full and ample basic education funding through a negotiated compromise of the proposals thus far introduced in the legislative session - or new ideas not yet under public consideration - we strongly support a "hold harmless" provision for any district detrimentally impacted under the new funding structure ultimately adopted until such time as the funding model "catches up" to those districts' current funding levels.
Also of importance:
We do not support re-purposing current local levy capacity to fund the State's basic education obligation.

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