Reykdal: Budget a Strong Start for Students
On Friday, the state Legislature is expected to pass a 2017-19 operating budget. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal on the budget.
OLYMPIA — June 30, 2017 — I am relieved the Legislature has found bipartisan agreement to more amply fund our public schools.
The new education funding plan adds $7.3 billion in state funds during the next four years, but offsets that with a loss of about $3 billion in local levy funds. This approach primarily addresses the state Supreme Court’s requirement, in McCleary v. Washington, that basic education funding come from the state. It also makes important new investments in our public schools.
Adding this new funding is a solid start to building the education system our kids deserve and our economy needs. What does that system look like? It consists of high-quality schools that
- addresses the needs of every child,
- closes opportunity gaps,
- graduates more students, and
- creates career pathways for each student.
The Legislature has now made the important turn to go beyond the bare minimums called for by the state Supreme Court – they are beginning the long work of transforming our schools with new resources that put kids and educators before partisan politics. I applaud this strong start. From career and technical education increases, to more resources for student with special needs, to higher starting salaries for teachers, this budget is a springboard for much bigger things to come.
The OSPI team will continue to carry out our long-term vision for excellent schools, as lawmakers push to find more progressive revenue sources beyond property taxes and sales taxes. I look forward to the full participation of policy makers on both sides of the aisle, educators, and the business community as we move our school funding from basic to excellent. It will require sacrifices beyond this current agreement!
Our kids deserve our best effort. By putting partisan politics aside and focusing on how to make all students successful, Washington’s public schools will become the envy of the nation.
For more information
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 Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement 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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