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About I-728

Initiative 728 appeared on the Nov. 2, 2000 ballot in Washington state; voters approved the measure by nearly 72 percent.

The initiative provides additional money to help students reach new state learning standards. It also dedicates certain state revenues to a "Student Achievement Fund," increasing revenue to the fund over time. Under I-728, school districts are authorized to use funds to reduce class size; provide extended learning opportunities; provide additional professional development for educators; provide early assistance for children who need pre-kindergarten support; and provide building improvements relating to class-size reductions.

What does it do?
Provides funding to implement education reform and improved student learning.

There are six allowable uses of the new funds:

  • Reduce class sizes in grades K-4;
  • Make selected class size reductions in grades 5-12;
  • Provide extended learning for students in K-12;
  • Provide additional professional development for educators;
  • Provide early assistance for children who need pre-kindergarten support;
  • Provide improvements or additions to school facilities which are directly related to class size reductions and extended learning opportunities.

Where does the money come from?

As amended by ESSB 5073, Laws of 2009, the money comes from:

  • State general fund
  • Education Legacy Trust Account


How much new money?

As amended by SHB 6444, Laws of 2009, the 2009-10 and 2010-11 amounts per FTE student are as specified in the omnibus appropriations act. The 2009-10 rate was $131.16. However, federal ARRA funds were used to pay September through June. State funds paid July and August. For 2010-11, no funding was provided.

History of Funding Per Student
2001-02 $190.19 2005-06 $300.00
2002-03   219.84  2006-07   375.00 
2003-04   211.67  2007-08   450.00 
2004-05   254.00  2008-09   458.10 


Deciding and reporting on uses of the new money
  • Local school boards will decide how to use the new money because district needs vary:
  • Before May 1, school boards must hold a public hearing on the proposed use of the new money;
  • By August 31, final plan must be adopted as part of the district budget;
  • Annually, each district must provide a public accounting of the new funds and how they were used during the previous year.  Copies of the report submitted to OSPI and the Academic Achievement and Accountability Commission.


Keys to success
  • Realize this is best opportunity for new money to enhance student learning;
  • Include all stakeholders when planning use of new money;
  • Honor voter expectations;
  • Target money so that you achieve desired results;
  • Thank voters for their support
  • Don't make hasty decisions about how to spend money.   Listen to parents and key stakeholders;
  • Don't break faith with the voters;
  • Don't use new money to "back-fill" holes in budget;
  • Don't use new money to supplant existing programs;
  • Don't use new money for compensations increases for existing duties

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
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