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Category Archives: Education Funding

Governor’s budget falls short

Monday night, Gov. Jay Inslee released a preview of his education budget.

He makes some much-needed progress on education funding, but his plan falls short of meeting the requirements of both the McCleary decision and I-1351. That is unacceptable. We urge you to tell the Governor and your legislators to fully fund smaller class sizes in all grades and to improve professional educator compensation, per the WEA 2015 legislative priorities.

Here are a few highlights, though many details are still lacking, and we expect to learn more when the governor releases his full budget this Thursday, Dec. 18.

  • The budget doesn’t fully address the requirements in I-1351. It does make progress in K-3, beginning in 2016, and provides limited investments toward other staffing categories in accordance with I-1351.
    In 2016-17, K-3 class sizes are funded at 17 students and full-day kindergarten is fully implemented at all schools, with the I-1351 language that allows class size funding to be used for direct services if classroom space is not available.
  • The COLA is funded in the budget along with additional funding (about $150 million) to provide educators 3 percent in 2015-16 and 1.8 percent in 2016-17. In addition, the governor meets the legal pension requirements.
  • Funding for Materials, Supplies and Operating Costs (MSOC) is increased significantly beginning in the 2015-16 school year.
  • The budget proposal to be released on Thursday will create more affordable higher education opportunities — but at the same time will under-fund those institutions. More scholarships and frozen tuition — but not enough funding provided for higher education.
  • Finally, higher education faculty salaries, community and technical college faculty increments, and many, many other details of the budget haven’t been released yet. Stay tuned.

You can read more about the governor’s education budget highlights and priorities that were released Monday night. Then make sure to send him and your legislators a message to fully fund professional compensation for educators and smaller class sizes for students.

State falls short on McCleary and K-12 school funding

In its 2012 McCleary decision, the Washington Supreme Court ordered state officials to abide by the Constitution and fully fund K-12 public schools as the state’s “paramount duty.” The Court set a 2018 deadline, giving legislators six years to phase in the additional funding. Alarmed by the Legislature’s lack of progress toward that goal, theContinue Reading

WEA 2014 legislative session report

Major win on teacher evaluations; lawmakers again fall short on COLA and class size WEA members in Olympia to lobby for COLAs and lower class sizes. The WEA Board of Directors adopted three goals for the 2014 legislative session: Restore the educator COLA, reduce class sizes and promote and empower WEA members as the voice ofContinue Reading

Olympia fails again on COLA, class-size reduction

Washington’s new supplemental state budget does nothing to reduce the state’s severely overcrowded class sizes or to restore voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for teachers and other school employees. The new state budget does not restore educator COLAs, and it does not reduce overcrowded class sizes. Instead of fulfilling their constitutional paramount duty to fully fundContinue Reading

WEA still opposed to mandated test scores in teacher evaluations

Email your legislators and tell them why you oppose the mandated use of state test scores in teacher evaluations and then sign this online petition. Or call your legislators’ offices and leave a message. You can look up their direct phone numbers here (call your two state reps and your state senator). Or call the Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000Continue Reading

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