Dorn: Governor’s Budget a Step in the Right Direction
Gov. Jay Inslee today released his proposal for education funding in 2017-19. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the proposal.
OLYMPIA — December 14, 2016 — I am very pleased with Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to fund education during the next biennium. It’s clear to me from this budget that the Governor understands the challenges of education funding and is willing to meet those challenges head-on.
The $2.7 billion proposed to address salary shortages is a necessary step to ensure that staff are properly compensated. Beyond that, the money is an acknowledgement that it is the state’s responsibility – not school districts’ – to fully fund the basic education salaries of teachers and other staff. As a simple example, in 2014-15 the state allocated about $60,000 for each administrative position. But the actual average salary for administrators was $114,000. Gov. Inslee’s budget will close that gap, helping districts spend money in other areas.
What’s more, he’s included resources to fund his proposal.
Gov. Inslee also includes funding for lower K-3 class sizes, which the Supreme Court has identify as one of the promising reforms for fully-funding basic education. He’s proposed increases in teacher mentoring and alternative routes for teacher preparation, for social and emotion health and for truancy reduction, among other items.
There is more work to be done. I hope that in his four-year budget the Governor addresses lowering class sizes in grades 4-12, which voters approved in a 2014 state initiative. And while I support lowering the levy lid – which this proposal does – I also hope that limits will be placed on what that money can be spent on.
Overall, Gov. Inslee’s budget proposal is a step in the right direction. A quality 21st century school system will take additional resources. I applaud Gov. Inslee’s courage to see that through.
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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