Dorn: Budget ‘puts students on hold this year’
OLYMPIA — March 29, 2016 — In November I released
my budget request for this legislative session. I noted at the time that the deadline for full funding of basic education was right around the corner.
We are at the corner now. The best thing that can be said about this budget is that it puts students on hold this year.
The Legislature did address the teacher shortage issue, but appropriated far less money than I asked for. Beyond that, I’m having trouble figuring out what was accomplished.
In August the state Supreme Court ordered that the state pay $100,000 a day until it produces a plan for full funding.
I hoped the order would influence the Legislature to make significant movement. In my budget request, I specified $173 million needed to comply with the McCleary lawsuit; the Legislature appropriated $0.
They did, however, come up with a plan to plan to fund education.
I urge the Supreme Court to take a hard line. The sanctions the Court has in place now obviously haven’t gotten the Legislature’s attention. I’d like the Court to establish a firm date by which full funding must be complete. Until that time, our students will stay on hold. And that is never acceptable.
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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