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.
In a new policy brief we discuss Gov. Inslee's plan to comply with the McCleary decision on school funding as well as HB 1843, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month.
In this 90 Seconds episode we briefly discuss the return of Initiative 1351, the voter-approved measure to reduce class sizes in grades K through 12. So far lawmakers have only funded K-3 class-size reductions, citing both budget concerns and research showing smaller class sizes have the most impact in grades K through 3.
In this 90 Seconds episode we give you a quick update on where things stand on the McCleary decision, which requires the state to fully fund basic education, including highlights of proposals currently being considered by state lawmakers.
The language behind the Senate Majority Coalition’s education funding plan has been released as SB 5607. On Saturday I wrote about the general aspects of the plan, based on the summaries provided by the Coalition. I read through the bill itself today and found more items of interest, plus some clarifications.
[Update 3:49pm -- Legislative language has now been released -- see here.]
This morning, state Senate Republicans (aka the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus) released their plan for fully funding K-12 education and complying with the state Supreme Court McCleary ruling. They are calling it the "Education Equality Act."
You can read the overview and a more detailed list of components below. No legislation is posted yet. We'll provide you with more in-depth analysis soon.
As I wrote earlier, I-1351 is scheduled to become effective in 2019–21—within the four-year budget window. Plus, Gov. Inslee has proposed beginning to implement the initiative early, in 2017–19.
Yesterday the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council adopted a four-year budget outlook based on Gov. Inslee’s proposed 2017–19 operating budget. According to the outlook, his proposal would leave a near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) unrestricted ending balance in 2019–21 of negative $2.041 billion (and total reserves would be negative $596 million).
The state Legislature begins its 2017 session today. This being an odd-numbered year, session is scheduled to last 105 days, with an April 23 adjournment date. Almost nobody believes lawmakers will finish their business by then, however, in which case the governor can call a special session (or a series of special sessions as the case may be).
Big issues on tap for this year include: