Dorn’s School District Insolvency Bill Passes Legislature
OLYMPIA — March 6, 2012— The state Legislature Monday passed a bill requested by State Superintendent Randy Dorn that would establish procedures for determining if a school district is unable to meet its financial obligations.
In addition to formally defining what constitutes financial insolvency, House Bill 2617 would create a financial oversight committee when a district becomes financially insolvent. The committee would make recommendations to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction about whether the district should dissolve or placed under enhanced financial monitoring.
Recent cuts to the state education budget raise the possibility that districts might have trouble paying its bills. “This is not a bill about school district consolidation,” Dorn said. “We want districts to succeed. HB 2617 is about a worst-case scenario. With continued cuts in school budgets, districts need a plan in place if they can’t pay their bills.”
There is recent history of district dissolution. In 2007, Vader School District needed state resources to help it through the dissolution process. Dorn used that experience to influence some of the details in HB 2617.
The bill now goes to Governor Gregoire for signing.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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