June 30, 2017 Policy Brief

Key Dates

June 30: Budget or Continuing Resolution for 2017-2019 must be adopted

July 7: Initiative Filing Deadline


Policy Round Up

House and Senate leaders today announced an education funding package to end a failed system and put our kids first, HB 2242 along with the state budget. Key policy decisions included in the proposed budget deal are:

  • Ending “staff mix” – a state formula to allocate school funding based on the experience level of a school’s teachers. The staff mix factor created inequity between districts in funding levels by sending more money to districts with higher average teacher salaries—mostly districts with more affluent communities.

  • Removing Salary Allocation Model – related to “staff mix,” a funding mechanism that was used to determine how much districts should get for teachers based only on a teacher’s educational level and experience instead of more student-centered metrics like performance, certification and additional job responsibilities. Most states do not have a Salary Allocation Model. In the current proposal, OSPI will develop a model schedule which districts can use in local bargaining if desired.

  • Categorical College and Technical Training – funding that used to go to a school’s general budget will now be required to be spent on vocational programing.

  • Creation of a High-Poverty Concentration Funding Stream – the state will now provide additional funding to schools with student populations with more than 50% of students on Free and Reduced Price Lunch. The money will go through the Learning Assistance Program and must be sent to the school generating the dollars and spent on supports for students who are below grade level. The state previously allocated money for schools with high-poverty concentrations, but the funding went into the general budget.


Key Numbers

  • Currently, Washington state ranks 41st in the country in high school graduation rates. Only 31 percent of high school graduates earn a degree or credential in Washington within six years, while 73 percent of careers require one.
  • Since 2003, Washington state’s achievement gaps between low-income students and their classmates have increased, making us 50th in the country in our progress on closing them.
  • 4-year total in funding increases on programing that must be spent by districts on serving the intended students:
    • $197.5 million for Career and Technical Education
    • $62.8 million for Highly Capable students
    • $527.9 million for the Learning Assistance Program
    • $53 million for Special Education
    • $65.7 million for Transitional Bilingual Program

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