On Wednesday the plaintiffs in the McCleary case filed a response to the state’s post-2017 session report to the Court. Four other groups also filed briefs with the Court. None agreed with the state that it is now in compliance with the McCleary decision.
As part of the 2017–19 operating budget process, the Legislature enacted EHB 2163 to raise revenues by making several tax changes. That includes applying the sales tax to bottled water, which is estimated to increase revenues by $54.6 million in 2017–19.
Today's episode covers the new tax revenues in the recently passed K-12 basic education funding law, which the State of Washington hopes will fulfill its obligations in the Supreme Court's McCleary ruling.
Click here to read our Special Report on the new K-12 basic education law.
A technical point about the regionalization factor that increases salary allocations for some school districts
In a Seattle Times column yesterday, Donna Gordon Blankinship asks, “Why can’t school funding be fair?” She argues, “The state needs ample enough funding — as the Washington Constitution requires — so every child has the same opportunity to succeed in life, no matter what ZIP code they live in.”
She uses Yakima as an example:
In a couple of stories yesterday, the Seattle Times writes about a proposal to tax nonresident buyers of Seattle real estate as a way to address the high price of Seattle housing. The Times reports that City Attorney Pete Holmes said such a tax would be illegal.
Since at least the 1970s, when the state Supreme Court ruled on the precursor to the McCleary case, the use of maintenance and operations (M&O) levies has been limited to enhancements to basic education. In practice, they were sometimes used for basic education purposes, which was part of the problem identified in the McCleary decision. EHB 2242, the education funding bill enacted this year, renames them “enrichment levies” to better reflect their purpose.
Several school districts have expressed concern about the state’s new method of funding public schools (as enacted in EHB 2242; here’s our report on the bill). As Melissa Santos reports in the News Tribune,
District officials in Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle say they’ll face budget deficits under the state’s new school funding plan, with some saying they’ll be worse off than if lawmakers had done nothing.
Today we're discussing the K-12 education funding bill passed by the state Legislature, in response to the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling on basic education. In this episode we cover funding and policy changes; in the next episode we'll cover tax revenues.
To read our Special Report on the McCleary bill, click here.
In a new special report, we dig in to EHB 2242, the education funding bill passed by the Legislature this session. Briefly:
Recently The Tax Foundation looked into the commonly held belief that rich Americans used to pay much higher income taxes in the 1950s than they do today. It found that the difference between then and now isn't actually that significant: