November 15 , 2023 - Emily Makings

Public school enrollment and the school-aged population are expected to continue to decrease for the next several years (and other notes from the caseload and population forecasts)

Last week, the Caseload Forecast Council (CFC) adopted the November caseload forecast. The caseload forecast helps to determine the maintenance level (the cost of continuing current services, adjusted for enrollment and inflation) for the state operating budget. This particular forecast will be used in the governor’s 2024 supplemental budget proposal. (The Legislature will base its […]

November 07 , 2023 - Emily Makings

Higher education supplemental budget requests include $19 million for WSU to purchase required carbon allowances

Agencies in the higher education budget area (the four-year institutions, the community and technical college system, and the Student Achievement Council) have requested a total increase of $164.0 million from the general fund–state (GFS) for the 2024 supplemental operating budget. (The requested increase from all funds is $179.4 million.) As I wrote yesterday, $100.0 million […]

October 30 , 2023 - Emily Makings

K–12 supplemental budget request would increase paraeducator salaries, provide school meals at no cost to students, and repeal the 15% cap on state funding for special education

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has requested a general fund–state (GFS) increase of $349.7 million for its 2024 supplemental operating budget. This would be a 1.2% increase over the enacted 2023–25 budget. If appropriated, the changes would increase spending by $708.5 million in 2025–27. The biggest bow wave in the request is […]

September 07 , 2023 - Emily Makings

State Supreme Court: school capital construction costs are not the sole responsibility of the state

The state Supreme Court has ruled that “school capital construction costs are not a component of the ‘education’ that the State, alone, must amply fund” under the state constitution. Wahkiakum School District had sued the state in 2021. The district argued that the state wasn’t amply funding school construction and instead relied on local levies, […]

August 09 , 2023 - Emily Makings

School finance charts: enrollment, revenues, share of state budget

In June, the Seattle Times held a webinar on school finance. It prompted me to put together some education finance charts with background data. First, T.J. Kelly of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction noted that school enrollment has declined since the pandemic. Indeed, there was a substantial drop in school year (SY) 2020–21. […]

June 27 , 2023 - Emily Makings

Times understates the state spending increase on schools related to the McCleary decision

The Seattle Times provided a fairly good overview Sunday of school funding and why some districts are dealing with budget shortfalls. However, they understated the spending increases related to the McCleary decision. The Times writes, “The state spent about $9 billion a year on education a couple years before the overhaul — dubbed the ‘McCleary […]

May 17 , 2023 - Emily Makings

Appropriations for public schools make up 10.1% of the capital budget

The 2023–25 capital budget (as passed by the Legislature) includes $871.5 million for public schools. Capital appropriations for schools account for 10.1% of total appropriations in the budget. The budget includes: Note that the $871.5 million includes $4.0 million for preconstruction grants and administrative implementation of SHB 1044, which would create a new school construction […]

May 04 , 2023 - Emily Makings

Operating budget reduces funding for student loan program to $90 million

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the Legislature passed a bill (EHB 1823) that makes changes to the state’s not-yet-implemented student loan program. The details are still to be determined by the Washington Student Achievement Council, and loans will not be awarded until school year 2025–26. (The bill has not yet been signed by […]

May 03 , 2023 - Emily Makings

Public schools make up 44.0% of NGFO budget in 2023–25; the cost of new K–12 policies is estimated to double in 2025–27

As passed by the Legislature, the 2023–25 operating budget increases appropriations for public schools from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) by $2.908 billion (compared to the enacted 2022 supplemental). Of the increase, $2.563 billion is the cost of continuing current services, adjusted for inflation and enrollment (the maintenance level). Just $345.6 million is due […]

April 20 , 2023 - Emily Makings

Legislature passes bill that would modify the outline of the yet-to-be-implemented Washington student loan program and remove sustainability requirements

The Legislature has passed EHB 1823, which would make changes to the Washington student loan program statute. (Gov. Inslee has not yet signed the bill.) I wrote about an earlier version of the bill here. The student loan program was enacted last year (RCW 28B.93) and the 2022 supplemental operating budget appropriated a total of […]