New special report: Has the State Finally Closed the Book on McCleary?

In a new special report, we dig in to EHB 2242, the education funding bill passed by the Legislature this session. Briefly:

  • The Legislature has enacted EHB 2242 to continue its response to the McCleary decision.
  • From 2011–13 to 2017–19, state funding for public schools has increased by $8.419 billion (62.1 percent).
  • In 2019–21, the Legislature plans to spend an additional $4.604 billion to continue implementation of EHB 2242.
  • In 2017–19, public schools account for 50.3 percent of state spending.
  • EHB 2242 increases state funding for school staff salaries and changes the salary structure.
  • It also makes several enhancements to categorical programs.
  • An additional state property tax will be levied.
  • The ability of school districts to ask voters for local levies will be more limited than it was previously.
  • Several new accountability measures are put in place to ensure that districts are not using local revenues for basic education.
  • Combined state and local property tax rates will increase in every school district in 2018; after that, they are estimated to increase in some districts and decrease in others.
  • In SY 2019–20, districts statewide will receive $2.759 billion more from the state and $672.4 million less from local levies.
  • Taken together, per pupil state and local funding is estimated to increase by $1,976, to $13,196.
  • The state believes it is now fully compliant with the McCleary decision.

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