Friday, December 18, 2015

Dorn's Statement on Inslee's Supplemental Budget

The state must stop relying on school districts to pass local levies to fund the elements of basic education.

Two words - not impressed.

This is not to say that the Superintendent dissed the Governor.  No, he liked:

Inslee does fund some increases to Jobs for Washington’s Graduates, CorePlus, Career and Technical Education, Healthiest Next Generation initiative, language access for families and discipline equity. And he did raise beginning teacher salaries and increase funding for  mentoring to help decrease our state’s teacher shortage.

But (bold mine),
Although salaries are an element of basic education and should be paid for by the state, the state now pays only a portion of what school employees actually earn. In his budget, Inslee actually digs school districts into a deeper hole because a salary increase applies to a teacher’s total salary, not just the amount covered by the state. That places an additional burden on districts to come up with the difference.
And, of course it all circles back to...
But while all of those things are good, Inslee continues to avoid the real issue of McCleary.

I’m tired of sounding like a broken record. I’m tired of the so-called leaders of our state ignoring this serious problem. Who is going to step up and do what’s right for the kids in our state?

The Legislature will be releasing their budget proposals soon. Based on experience, I’m not optimistic.
I'll just note that Governor Inslee's "workgroup" on McCleary - made up of legislators from both sides of the aisle - has gotten very little done.  So much for that time-waster.

Update: here's what the State Board of Education had to say.  They are decidedly more nuanced but the message is the same.  (partial and bold mine)
“This would be a solid supplemental budget under normal circumstances, but given the Supreme Court’s finding of contempt, and the imposition of daily fines on the legislature that continue to mount, these are clearly not normal times. The budget writers need to act with more urgency,” said Isabel Munoz-Colon, Chair of the State Board of Education.
Legislators should use the 2016 legislative session to propose real and lasting changes to the state’s provision for basic education, and end reliance on levies to fund basic education.

Ample school funding remains the State Board of Education’s highest priority for the 2016 legislative session. Legislators have a unique opportunity in the 2016 legislative session to achieve full constitutional compliance before 2018. The board would like to see legislators act with urgency in the 2016 legislative session to fulfill the state’s duty to make ample provision for all Washington students.

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