Dorn Unveils Legislative Package
OLYMPIA — November 12, 2013 — Ensuring that basic education is fully funded and that Washington continues to receive a waiver from some federal education rules are the most important legislative requests from State Superintendent Randy Dorn.
The request package, delivered to the Legislature Nov. 1, asks for $544 million in funding for the 2013-15 biennium beyond what the Legislature appropriated in 2013.
Much of that total would go toward satisfying the court case
McCleary v. Washington. In January 2012, the state Supreme Court ruled that the state isn’t meeting its constitutional duty to fully fund basic education. The Court imposed a 2017 deadline for full funding. Before the start of the 2013 legislative session, Supt. Dorn said that at least $1.4 billion would be needed in 2013-15 to give the state a reasonable “down payment” on
The Legislature increased education funding by $1 billion in 2013.
“I’ve said for many months that the Legislature didn’t go far enough in 2013,” Dorn said. “A $1.4 billion investment would have put the state on the road to meeting McCleary. But $1 billion barely gets us idling in the driveway.”
Dorn’s request would increase basic education spending by $461 million. The money would go toward increasing the number of schools offering state-funded full-day kindergarten; reducing class sizes for students in grades 2-3; and increasing funding for materials, supplies and operating costs.
“The Legislature doesn’t have a lot of time to meet McCleary,” he said. “If the Supreme Court’s deadline passes without full funding, thousands of students will not get the education they deserve.”
Other items in Dorn’s request include:
- Two state-funded learning improvement days to train teachers in the new evaluation system and new state standards;
- A technical correction to add the amount of material, supplies and operating costs to Career and Technical Education students and students attending skills centers;
- A technical correction to add staff for CTE classes and skills centers; and
- A number of smaller increases, such as regional support for the Common Core State Standards, development and administration of a biology collection of evidence.
Dorn’s second major request involves a change in state law. Paragraph 2(f) of
Revised Code of Washington 28A.405.100 states, in part:
“Student growth data … must be based on multiple measures that can include classroom-based, school-based, district-based, and state-based tools.”
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction secured a
waiver from some requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act in August. But the Department of Education termed the waiver “conditional” because it objected to the word “can” in 28A.405.100.
“When the Legislature was debating this back in 2010, I said the language didn’t go far enough,” Dorn said. “The Department of Education wants state-based tests to be a required measure, not a voluntary one. I’m introducing legislation that will basically replace the word ‘can’ with ‘must.’ Test scores should not be the sole measure used to evaluate teachers, but they must be one of the tools we use in our new accountability system.”
Supt. Dorn’s entire budget request can be found at
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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