New Brief: Senate-Passed Bill Would Overhaul and Increase School Funding

Last week we published a policy brief on Gov. Inslee's education funding proposal and HB 1843 (which has since been passed by the House). Today we have a new brief on SSB 5607, the Senate-passed education funding bill.

Briefly:

  • The Senate has passed SSB 5607 in response to the McCleary decision.
  • The bill would fund schools based on a new per-pupil funding model.
  • Per-pupil funding would be at least $12,500.
  • The salary allocation schedule would be eliminated.
  • The minimum teacher salary would be increased and a housing allowance and recruitment and retention bonus would be provided for certain staff.
  • I-1351 (class size reductions for grades K–12) and I-732 (cost-of-living adjustments for school staff) would be repealed.
  • A “local effort levy” would be levied by the state on behalf of districts, in addition to the current state property tax.
  • Several safeguards would be put in place to ensure that any future local excess levies would not be used for basic education.
  • The Senate Ways and Means Committee estimates the bill would increase state spending by $2.481 billion in 2017–19 and by $4.434 billion in 2019–21.

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