Redefining "Basic Education"
Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2261 is a massive education reform bill passed during the 2009 legislative session. The bill redefines the state’s “Program of Basic Education” and the funding amounts and methods needed to fully support it. Full implementation of the bill must be completed by 2018.
ESHB 2261 includes the following enhancements to our state’s education system:
- Increased instructional hours.
- Enhanced high school diploma requirements.
- New transportation funding formula.
- All-day kindergarten added to basic education.
- New finance structure for transparency.
The Governor vetoed two parts of the bill:
- The designation of Early Learning for disadvantaged students as basic education.
- Highly Capable safety net structure.
In addition to the items listed above, the bill specifies that funding allocations and expenditure reporting are done by a prototypical school model. The bill requires that the capacity of the state’s education system be reviewed on a biennial basis by OSPI. To help guide the implementation process and keep an updated and evolving definition of Basic Education, the Quality Education Council was created.
- Defines new programs of Basic Education, while mandating that no new requirements shall be implemented without associated funding.
- Adopts the prototype schools funding model.
- Establishes that programs shall be fully funded by the 2018-19 school year.
- Establishes a new funding formula for Pupil Transportation, to begin during or before 2013.
- Creates a roadmap for work groups to define the details of the funding formulas.
- Establishes the Quality Education Council to recommend phase-in to the Legislature.
ESHB 2261 Does Not:
- Establish the prototypical school model values in statute.
- Specify a new teacher compensation system.
- Specify a new levy system, including levy lids and/or levy equalization issues.
- Specify a new system for salary allocations.
- Adopt an accountability system.
- Specify the schedule of funding phase-in between now and the 2018-19 school year.
Work Groups and Additional Tasks of ESHB 2261
Four working groups were created to develop and implement the details of the bill. The groups will focus on funding formulas, employee compensation, levies and levy equalization, and data governance.
ESHB 2261 also calls for an informal Early Learning Advisory Council, convened by the
Department of Early Learning and the Office of Superintendent of Public
Instruction, to develop a proposal at the request of the Governor for an early
learning program that serves all students from birth to five.
Finally, ESHB 2261 calls for additional work from two other state agencies. The State Board of Education will continue to refine an accountability framework, and the Professional Educator Standards Board will adopt teacher performance standards.