K–12 budget request includes major staff compensation increases, elimination of the special education funding cap

By: Emily Makings
1:25 pm
October 18, 2022

For 2023–25, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is asking for a $6.565 billion increase to its general fund–state (GFS) budget. This would be an increase of 25.3% over 2021–23. (Adjusted for inflation, the increase would be 18.7%. That’s on par with spending increases made in response to the McCleary decision on school funding—GFS spending increased by 18.8% in 2015–17 and 17.9% in 2017–19.)

Notably, the budget request includes no estimate of maintenance level changes. (That’s the cost of continuing current services, adjusted for inflation and enrollment. I discussed budget terminology in my overview of the budget requests.) New policies in the request would increase GFS spending by $5.913 billion in 2023–25 and $8.225 billion in 2025–27. The proposal incorporates some of the recommendations made in a recent report by the K–12 Basic Education Compensation Advisory Committee.

The largest request is $3.132 billion in 2023–25 and $3.684 billion in 2025–27 to make changes to the school staff compensation structure. The proposal would:

  • Increase base salary allocations for school staff by 6%.
  • Cap regionalization factors at 12% and apply the same regionalization factor to all districts in a county. (Regionalization factors are meant to compensate districts for differences in the cost of living. The current maximum is 18%.)
  • Provide the experience mix factor for districts with staff with above-average experience or above-average advanced degrees. (It’s not clear to me exactly what this provision would do. Prior to the McCleary-related salary changes, the “staff mix” policy allocated state funding based on district staff educational credits and years of service. That was repealed; now there is a 4% experience factor added to allocations for districts with above average experience and a higher ratio of advanced to bachelor’s degrees.)
  • Provide bonuses for staff at high poverty schools.
  • Provide hiring bonuses for special education teachers.
  • Adjust salary allocations using the consumer price index instead of the implicit price deflator.

The second largest item requested by OSPI is $1.006 billion in 2023–25 and $2.084 billion in 2025–27 to increase school staff. Specifically, it would:

  • Provide six additional professional development days for instructional and classified staff and three additional days for administrative staff.
  • Increase the allocations for principals, family engagement coordinators, student and staff safety, and substitute teachers.
  • Provide an allocation for continuous improvement coaches (who would deliver professional development).
  • Provide an allocation (within materials, supplies, and operating costs) for consumable classroom supplies.

Other items in OSPI’s GFS budget request include:

(Previous posts on agency budget requests are here.)

Categories: Budget , Education.
Tags: 2023-25 , 2023-25 agency requests