Dorn: Legislature Must Pass Estate Tax Fix or 1 Million Students Lose
Olympia - June 13, 2013 - A total of $160 million will likely be lost to education funding if the Legislature does not pass a bill being debated today, State Superintendent Randy Dorn said.
House Bill 2075 preserves about $160 million in the 2013-15 biennium for the state Education Legacy Trust account. The bill is in response to an October Supreme Court ruling on estate taxes. If the bill does not pass, the money would have to be returned to those who originally paid the taxes.
The Department of Revenue will begin issuing refund checks Friday if the bill does not pass.
“The next 12 hours will tell me a lot about the current Legislature,” Dorn said. “They will have to make a decision. If they don’t pass 2075, then more than a million public school students in Washington lose. And who wins? Only 59 of the wealthier, if not wealthiest, families in the state.”
The Education Legacy Trust account pays for a wide variety of education services. Dorn said that the $160 million could, as one example, bring full-day kindergarten to an additional 15,500 students.
“It’s pretty simple,” Dorn said. “Going into the session the Legislature said it wanted to improve graduation rates and student performance, as well as comply with the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. The minimum needed to put us on the path to comply with McCleary is $1.4 billion more than we’re spending now. Talking about a $160 million cut, especially when that money goes to less than one percent of the people in Washington, is obscene.”
Dorn is available today to speak to the media. Please contact Nathan Olson for details.
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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