Dorn Releases Complete Plan to Fully Fund Basic Education
OLYMPIA — April 14, 2015 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn at a press conference today released a complete plan to fulfill Washington’s constitutional and moral responsibility to fully fund basic education. The plan will ensure that every student in the state has an equal opportunity to a basic education.
The State is currently under a court order to produce a complete plan showing how it intends to achieve full state funding of K-12 basic education without the use of local funding. To this point, neither the Governor, nor the legislature has introduced such a plan.
“I’m pleased that the House and Senate budget proposals fund many important items,” Dorn said, “such as statewide full-day kindergarten; lower K–3 class size; materials, supplies, and operating costs; and transportation.
“Now let’s finish the job. I have worked with my staff and have conferred with experts and education stakeholders to develop a plan showing how the State can achieve full funding of basic education.” Dorn’s plan makes two significant modifications to current law regarding full funding: 1), It reduces class size in grades 4 through 12, but not as much as voter-approved
Initiative 1351; and 2), It extends the timeline for achieving full funding from 2018 to 2021. The extension is a realistic timeline to hire more teachers and build more classrooms to accommodate the new class-size limits.
For the 2015-17 biennium, Dorn’s plan totals $2.2 billion in new spending. That total, however, could be lowered if local levy money currently being used to fund basic education programs is transferred into the general fund.
Seven major elements comprise Dorn’s plan. The State must:
- Complete the funding of HB 2776,
- Reduce class size in grades 4–12,
- Hire additional support staff,
- Fund more teachers and more classrooms,
- Reform the compensation system,
- Reform the levy system and
- Review and update education provisions regularly.
Details for the elements can be found here.
The Supreme Court is not likely to tolerate further delay in the development of a real comprehensive plan to fully fund all schools, and neither should the people of the state of Washington. Now is the time to finally meet the state’s paramount duty.
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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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.