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Thursday, January 25, 2018

What's Going on in State Public Education Funding?

From the Washington's Paramount Duty Facebook page:

What is going on with state education funding?
The state legislature claims the budget they passed in 2017 fully funds basic education, ​BUT​:

● The State Supreme Court has told the legislature that the 2018-19 school year education budget is short by $1 billion.

● Under the new budget, state funding has increased, but local levy funding will be taken away, so net funding for Seattle Public Schools only goes up by about 1%, and after two years, it actually goes down. Even if we address the $1 billion shortfall, ​in Seattle the new budget is only maintaining the inadequate status quo, not providing significant new funding.

● Even with the missing $1 billion, this budget doesn’t fully fund basic education. ​In 2018/19, Seattle Public Schools will have a $58 million gap in special education, a $34 million gap in salaries for classified staff (secretaries, aides, custodians, etc), and a $10 million gap in salaries for certificated staff (Superintendent, principals, assistant principals, etc).​ These gaps are currently filled by local levies.

● Here are some shocking examples of what the state feels is sufficient for the basic education of the 53,000 students in Seattle:

○ 9 full time nurses

○ 3.7 social workers

○ 6.5 family involvement coordinators

○ 161 principals (SPS actually hires 190)


The new law actually bars local levies that raise additional money for basic education​, so Seattle can’t fill these gaps with local levies in the future.

● We can’t achieve the lower class sizes we voted for unless we build more schools. According to the State, school construction is not part of a basic education.

What can you do about it?

● Washington state legislators need to hear that we’re not satisfied with their solution to “fully funding” education. Find your state senator and representatives at
http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/​ and call or email them every day.

What should you ask your legislators to do in this legislative session?

● Fund the billion dollar gap that the State Supreme Court has identified in the education budget, without cutting social services and without using the rainy day fund.

● Institute a progressive and sustainable revenue source for the extra $1 billion (e.g. capital gains tax, closing business tax loopholes).

● Remove the levy cap until state funds are adequate to fill ​all gaps in basic education.

● Amend the Constitution to allow a simple majority for the passage of school construction bonds. Currently, bonds require a 60% supermajority and a voter minimum requirement of at least 40% of the voters in the preceding general election.

● Make sure no school district gets less under this budget than it would have otherwise.

● Increase staffing at schools to meet student needs.


What should you ask your legislators to do in the long run?

● State fully and amply funds education for all students.

● Include building, remodeling, and retrofitting schools in basic education.

This document was created by a group of parents with children in Seattle Public Schools:

Sam McKagan (Leschi Elementary School), Natalya Yudkovsky (Eckstein Middle School), Kate Levin (Montlake Elementary School), Andy Jenson (McGilvra Elementary School), Liza Rankin (Wedgwood Elementary School), Jason Evans and Ginger Evans (B.F. Day Elementary School), Ali McKay (Lowell Elementary School)

Most of us are legislative chairs for our PTAs, but these are our own views, not those of our schools or PTAs.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

so what is supreme court's next move? and i am confused :

"Even with the missing $1 billion, this budget doesn’t fully fund basic education. ​In 2018/19, Seattle Public Schools will have a $58 million gap in special education, a $34 million gap in salaries for classified staff (secretaries, aides, custodians, etc), and a $10 million gap in salaries for certificated staff (Superintendent, principals, assistant principals, etc).​ "

shouldn't that read "with the missing 1b we underfund x by y. or are they saying we are under by a billion plus x underfunded by y?

we now have the dem majority that some of us worked for. time for that to pay of.

no caps

Anonymous said...

off. :-)

no caps

Anonymous said...

You’re nuts. That 17% property tax hike wasn’t enough for you? Don’t you see the miles of garbage and tent cities created by housing unaffordablity? And no. Even the Dems won’t get an income tax or capital gains tax? (we all hope our homes that we paid the exhorbitant rates to own do rise enough to be worth the investment.)

Tax Payer