Dorn’s Budget Request Pushes Toward Full Funding
OLYMPIA — October 4, 2012 — Real progress toward fully funding basic education needs to begin now, said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction.
Dorn’s comments were reflected in the 2013-15 biennial budget request he submitted recently to Gov. Chris Gregoire, which includes an additional $4.1 billion in basic education expenses for the two-year period.
“In last year’s McCleary decision, our state Supreme Court was very clear,” Dorn said. “The state must achieve full state funding of basic education by 2018. My budget helps them get to that goal.”
The McCleary decision referenced the Quality Education Council as a way for the state to meet its Constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education. The QEC was established by the Legislature in 2009 to develop recommendations for the implementation of a new definition of basic education and for the financing necessary to support it.
The QEC has provisionally established funding goals for 2018. Dorn’s proposal moves those goals forward in roughly three phases:
- Phase I: Full state funding in four areas: transportation; maintenance, supplies and operating costs; full-day kindergarten; and lower class sizes (17 students maximum) in grades K-3.
- Phase II: Full state funding of the salaries and staffing levels of current educational staff.
- Phase III: State funding for enhanced levels of educational staff and enhanced salaries.
Dorn’s budget fully funds phases I and II during the 2013-15 biennium.
“For many years now, education funding hasn’t been adequate,” Dorn said. “We have a chance to make that up now. If we don’t, generations of students will suffer. That means our society as a whole will suffer. And we simply can’t afford to let that happen.”
Dorn’s budget request also includes additional money for teacher evaluations, dropout prevention and using data to better inform instruction. His overall 2013-15 proposed biennial budget was $18.9 billion. In the 2011-13 biennium, about $13.6 billion was spent on K-12 education.
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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