Education

90 Seconds podcast: A quick McCleary re-cap

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.

More details from the Senate Majority’s education funding bill

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.

Highlights from the new education funding proposal

[Update 3:49pm -- Legislative language has now been released -- see here.]

Senate Republicans' K-12 education funding plan is 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.

The return of I-1351

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.

A new budget outlook, and possible budget process changes

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).

2017 Legislative Session Starts Today

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:

Lawmakers on K-12 funding panel issue competing recommendations

In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, every year on Feb. 2 residents await the sign of a groundhog - Punxsutawney Phil - to forecast the onset of spring. In the Washington state Legislature, lawmakers and other observers were awaiting a sign yesterday of how much members of the Joint Education Task Force could agree on solutions for full state funding of K-12 education (as required by the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling) in 2017.

Gov. Inslee’s education proposal would increase spending by $3.9 billion and add $4.4 billion in new taxes

Today Gov. Inslee released his proposal to increase education spending in the 2017–19 biennial budget. Some of this proposed spending is related to the McCleary decision.

The new budget outlook includes an estimate of final McCleary costs, despite a lack of agreement on what that number will be

Yesterday the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) adopted a new budget outlook that includes the end of the 2015–17 biennium, 2017–19, and 2019–21. It is controversial in that it includes an estimate for how much it will cost to complete compliance with the McCleary decision on school funding.

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