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House budget gives us something to cheer about

Today the Democratic-led Washington House released its proposed 2013-15 budget. This budget gives us something to cheer about — it meets the McCleary funding obligation, provides additional support for early learning and higher education, and keeps the state’s safety net intact.

This responsible, sustainable budget is good for kids and schools.

Want to know how the House, Senate, and Governor’s budget compare?

The proposed House budget follows the recommendations of the Joint Task Force on Education Funding and invests $1.3 billion in new funding for K-12 education, with additional investments in early learning and higher education.

The House budget includes a reasonable $986 million down payment on McCleary, including:

  • $461 million maintenance and supplies (MSOC)
  • $225 million for K-3 class size reduction
  • $144 million for transportation
  • $63 million for increased instructional hours tied to the 24-credit high school diploma

NOTE:  The 24-credit diploma will not become a graduation requirement until full-funding is achieved, as required by state law.

  • $92 million for full-day Kindergarten

In addition, the House budget includes$75 million for college- and career-ready, which encompasses the Learning Assistance Program, Transitional Bilingual Program, as well as guidance counselors and family engagement coordinators.

It also includes $34 million for professional development to support the implementation for TPEP (Teacher Principal Evaluation Program) passed by the legislature last session.

There are no resources in the House budget for Common Core implementation.

Early Learning

The House budget includes an additional $40.7 million for ECEAP. This funding will serve an additional 1,882 children each year and allow more low-income 3- and 4-year olds to receive preschool.

The House budget includes an additional $30.8 million for WCCC. This program is critical in assisting low-income children by providing safe environments for them to grow and learn while their parents work or go to school.  The money to improve the system will help improve the child care system which is desperately needed.

Higher Education

The House budget increases funding by $94 million above maintenance for higher education and includes:

  • $50.1 million for College Bound Scholarship
  • $36.5 million for State Need Grant
  • $24 million to increase high demand degree production

LEV continues to believe we need to address the overall regressive nature of our tax system and that doing so will truly put our education funding on a sustainable path. However, in the near term, the tax reforms proposed today are reasonable, targeted and worthy of strong consideration.

LEV’s 2013 legislative priorities include fully funding basic education, ensuring our high school students graduate college- and career-ready, and expanding early learning and higher education access.

 

 

 

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