By League of Education Voters Policy Team
The Washington state Legislature passed a state budget agreement (Senate Bill 6032) that adds court-ordered K-12-school funding and also gives a one-time property-tax cut. The 2017-19 supplemental operating budget plan aimed at satisfying the long-running state Supreme Court school-funding order known as the McCleary decision. Below is a summary of how the budget impacts Early Childhood Education, K-12, and Higher Education.
Early Childhood Education
Legislators prioritized increasing home visitation capacity, and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) provision to homeless families in this budget. Funds are also provided to improve overall early childhood education (ECE) system capacity, including Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) implementation, with $700K for a degree program to produce more educators, and $403K to strategize ways to engage the Washington business community and to educate ECE providers. Additional allocations will go toward supporting nurse consultations, mental health interventions, and trauma informed service provision.
- $2.3M—Home visiting expansion +275 families & to equalize rates
- $1.6M—Working Connections Childcare 4-month grace period for homeless families
- $1M—Implementation of the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families
- $74,000—Implement House Bill 2861 (trauma-informed child care)
- $150K—Home visit Medicaid facilitator – maximize federal dollars collected for home visiting
- $700K—ECE degree program at Western on the Peninsula, will produce 75 BAs/year
- $240K—“Childcare Collaboration Task Force” created by House Bill 2367: Dept. of Commerce to convene a task force to study the impact of child care affordability and accessibility on the workforce & businesses, to report findings & recommendations by the end of 2019
The legislature modified provisions put into place by House Bill 2242 in the 2017 session, including speeding up full implementation of the teacher salary increases, increasing special education funding, delaying state-funded professional development days, and adjusting regionalization based on neighboring districts. Additional student support related investments were made, including mental health and Breakfast after the Bell.
- $775.8 million—Full funding of teacher salaries in the 2018-2019 school year
- 4% experience factor in addition to regionalization factor, to begin in 2019-2020
- $4.4 million—Regionalization adjustment for districts that border a district that receives regionalization at more than one tercile above them, if west of the Cascade mountains
- $26.9 million—Special Education multiplier increased from 0.9309 to 0.9609
- ($27.1 million)—Savings from delay in state funded professional development for one year
- $1 million—OSPI levy oversight and pre-ballot approval
- $1 million—Dual language grant program and bilingual educator initiative
- $4 million—Science teacher training in next generation science standards
- Hold harmless for 2018-2019 school year if funding under new structure is less than would have received under prior formulas (Senate Bill 6362 provides criteria for prioritizing districts)
- Does not require implementation of K-3 class size reduction to receive funds (SB 6362 delays requirement by one year)
$676,000 for Learning Assistance Program technical assistance(House Bill 2748 did not pass, so this funding will lapse)
- $150,000 for House Bill 2779 improving mental health access for children
- $120,000 for Senate Bill 6162 requiring dyslexia screening
- $1.2 million for Breakfast after the Bell start up grants
Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO)
- $750K to continue the ELO Quality Initiative
- $1 million—Every Student Succeeds Act implementation
- $50,000—State Board of Education (SBE) to identify at least two high school equivalency tests that 60% of high school seniors can pass, one low cost and one that does not require computer skills. The SBE must communicate the availability of the two test options to public and private test administrators.
The legislature is set to make progress in expanding financial aid with the passage of the 2018 supplemental budget. The legislature provided enough funding to provide an estimated 4,600 additional State Need Grant (SNG) eligible students with financial aid, reducing the unserved student population to below 15,000 students. The legislature has also made the student eligibility criteria for the College Bound Scholarship program consistent with the State Need Grant by allowing certain undocumented students to participate in the College Bound Scholarship program if they meet the necessary program criteria.
- $18.5 million – State Need Grant to serve an additional 4,600 students, ¼ of waiting list)
- Legislature ‘plans’ to fully fund SNG by the first year of the 2021-23 biennium
- $4.3 million—Opportunity Scholarship Program
- $1.5 million—Expanding existing financial aid programs including the Passport to College promise and Expanding the Opportunity Scholarship to 2-year institutions
- $3 million—Expanding Computer Science enrollments at University of Washington
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