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House budget increases K-12 funding, falls short on pay and class size

Here’s the official WEA news release about the proposed state budget released Friday, which calls for more than $3 billion in additional education funding over the next two years.

House budget provides major increase in K-12 funding, but falls short on class size and compensation

The new House budget plan is a substantial and significant increase in state support for K-12 public schools and students, says the president of the Washington Education Association.

WEA President Kim Mead applauded the House proposal to close tax loopholes and tax capital gains on investments to raise new state revenue. She also thanked Democratic leaders in the state House for their efforts.

However, Mead said the House budget fails to amply fund K-12 public schools as mandated by the state Supreme Court. She said that while the House budget reinstates the voter-approved cost-of-living adjustment for K-12 and higher education employees, it doesn’t go far enough to provide the competitive, professional compensation needed to attract and keep qualified and committed educators.

Mead also said voter-approved smaller K-12 class sizes are part of basic education and the state’s obligation to fully fund schools under the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. The House budget only funds K-3 class-size reduction and some additional support staff.

“The House’s budget begins to seriously fulfill the Legislature’s obligation to fully fund public education, which is good news,” Mead said. “However, all children deserve the personal, one-on-one attention they need to succeed. It’s time to reduce class sizes for all students in all grades, and particularly in high-poverty schools. It’s the law.”

Mead called on the state Senate to build on the House budget and to improve funding for smaller class sizes and educator compensation.

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The hearing on ESSB 5748, tying test scores to teacher evaluations, is 10 am Monday in the House Education Committee. Email your House members here to oppose ESSB 5748.

 

 

 

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