Statement from Randy Dorn on the House Budget
On Thursday, the state House passed its 2013-15 budget. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the budget.
OLYMPIA (June 7, 2013) — As a former legislator, I understand how difficult it is to create a budget that satisfies various needs. But as the state superintendent, I am disappointed by what the House has passed.
In early March I sent legislators a letter making clear that an investment of an additional $1.4 billion for education is the minimum needed for next biennium. That investment would put the state on the road to satisfying the requirement of the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.
Since then we’ve been through three rounds of budget proposals. Gov. Inslee and the House both proposed roughly an additional $1.3 billion; the Senate, $1.0 billion.
And now the latest budget, which passed late last night. Rep. Pat Sullivan said that it “invests more than $700 million of new money in our K-12 system. About half of what we felt at the outset of this session we needed in order to comply with the McCleary decision.”
A second bill passed by the House would raise revenue by closing tax loopholes, adding $250 million to the education total. That would make the entire educational investment around $1.0 billion.
In April, when the Senate proposed $1.0 billion, I said it would not meet the McCleary requirement. I continue to believe that. A $1.0 billion investment in education would not be sufficient. But more than $700 million wouldn’t be an investment or even a down payment; at best, it might be considered earnest money.
Half of what education needs will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to meet the McCleary decision to fully fund basic education by 2017-18. Nor does it satisfy the commitments our Legislature has made in previously passed bills.
Half of what education needs would serve as an open invitation to the Supreme Court to directly intervene in the budget process.
I stand by my March letter and urge the Senate to adopt a budget that fully funds student transportation and includes at least $1.4 billion in new funding for basic education. That is the minimum required by the Supreme Court. More than that, it is what we owe our students.
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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