Dorn Statement on House and Senate Budget Proposals
OLYMPIA — February 25, 2016 — The state House and Senate released proposals this week for the supplementary budget that fall short of what Washington needs to fund basic education. Worse, they will not help us get to full funding by the 2018 deadline.
Both proposals have elements worth praising. For example, each recognizes the looming teacher shortage crisis by supporting teacher recruitment. The House proposal goes further by increasing teachers’ starting salaries.
The House proposal targets investments for Core Plus and Jobs for Washington’s Graduates. These programs are valuable for students in need of industry-aligned skills for future jobs. The Senate proposal provides funding for paraeducator certification, which is a positive step.
I’m also encouraged that the House is looking to new sources of revenue. Closing tax loopholes to fund education programs is a start.
The Supreme Court’s McCleary v. Washington ruling requires full funding of basic education by 2018. But neither proposal does much to help achieve that deadline.
And neither proposal does enough to remove the Court’s contempt order.
The Legislature’s priority must be investing in the needs of McCleary. Without a concerted effort this session, there will be too much work to do to meet the deadline.
I understand that this is a supplemental budget year. Adjustments made to the biennial budget will be minor. I remain hopeful that the final budget proposal will contain minimal but necessary funding increases in Career and Technical Education as well as in materials, supplies and operating costs — both of which are McCleary investments.
I also hope the House proposal for investments in Core Plus and Jobs for Washington’s Graduates becomes part of the final budget. I would encourage them to add Career Guidance Washington to that short list.
I look forward to working with Legislators during this crucial time in education funding.
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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