Reykdal: Education Budget a Strong Foundation for What’s to Come
Today, the Washington State Legislature passed the state’s 2018 Supplemental Operating Budget with important additional investments in K-12 education.
I applaud the Legislature for coming to an agreement on the budget, positioning them to successfully end the legislative session on time. This budget makes a massive investment in educator compensation to address the State Supreme Court’s ruling in McCleary v. State of Washington.
The Legislature also made targeted investments in areas that will directly improve outcomes for our students. Some of these are:
- Increasing special education funding, which will allow districts to reduce their reliance on local levies.
- Implementing an “experience factor” for many school districts, granting a four percent funding bump to districts with more experienced teachers.
- Requiring every student to take a stand-alone civics course. Civic engagement is an essential part of learning and Washington state just made a historic commitment.
The work done this session has laid a solid foundation for what’s to come. We are now ready for a large transformation in our K-12 system over the next biennium and beyond. My team and I will work with the Legislature to:
Close opportunity gaps,
Significantly expand dual language learning,
Lower class sizes,
Extend the school day and school year to provide more opportunities for student learning,
Make significant investments in our schools’ capital infrastructure, and
Embrace a market-rate compensation model for our educators.
I am grateful the Legislature was able to comply with the Court’s timeline for funding basic education. Now it is time to move from basic to excellence!
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