Budget

School Levy and Compensation Reform

Two recent articles in the Seattle Times point out one of the remaining key elements of resolving the McCleary “problem”, and it’s a BIG element. Most estimates have the size of the problem at about $3,000,000,000 to $3,500,000,000 ($3 – $3.5 billion) a biennium. Wildly varying teacher salaries part of state budget…


School District Compensation and Levy Reform

Last week the Appropriations committee held a hearing on the second half of the McCleary decision; the requirement that the state fund adequate compensation, not local taxpayers. The hearing took over 3 hours and is super-interesting. You can watch it on TVW here. This sounds terrifyingly dull, but it wasn’t….


Too Much Testing?

[Update: 5/8/15 added link to AP article “New standardized tests bring technical challenges, concern“] One of the issues that is tangentially budget-related that needs to be addressed during this special session is that of high school graduation requirements and the assessments that we are asking our kids to take. We’ve gone…


Answers to Popular Education Emails

I’ve been swamped with email on education issues and want to consolidate my responses to a number of popular questions as I think it’ll give a better sense of what my positions are on your issues. I’m hearing about: Basic Education funding, including ensuring that we adequately fund our McCleary obligation. Funding and…




Budget Negotiations to Start Monday

We’re now entering the budget negotiation phase of the session. The Senate and House are in pretty significantly different places. The top level difference is only about a billion dollars, but the underlying differences are much greater than that. We need to come to agreement by Wednesday the 22nd to…


Fiscal Cutoff

State legislatures typically meet for a relatively short period of time each year and consequently are very deadline driven. Congress works on things until they are ready to be brought forward, but in most states (including Washington) the dates are relentless and serve to help the body focus on what…