In a new special report, we dig in to EHB 2242, the education funding bill passed by the Legislature this session. Briefly:
Washington isn't the only state grappling with K-12 education funding issues. On March 2, the Kansas state Supreme Court ruled that the State of Kansas was violating the state constitution by not adequately funding public schools. Sound familiar? The Kansas City Star reports:
The biggest job for the Washington state Legislature this year is public school funding for grades K through 12. Right now there are four major plans before lawmakers, all responding to the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling, which found that the state is not fully funding basic education. We discuss all four plans in this episode.
Read our Policy Brief offering a side-by-side comparison of the four plans here.
In this episode we briefly discuss basic education, which is at the heart of the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling. In that ruling the court said the state is not fulfilling its constitutional "paramount duty" to fully provide for basic education in public schools.
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.
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.
On today's InFocus podcast we're covering the latest news, including our new Policy Brief on business taxation in Washington state. Washington businesses pay 58 percent of state and local taxes, and have some of the highest tax burdens in the country. We also talk about the latest state budget outlook, and problems many school districts are facing with Washington's land-use law, the Growth Management Act.
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:
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.
New state revenue numbers are out, with good news for the state budget. However, there's still a big budget hole to fill in order to comply with the McCleary ruling, which requires full state funding of basic K-12 education by 2018. We also discuss new employment numbers, as well as the Obama administration overtime rule that's been suspended by a court order, and the latest on the City of Seattle's moves toward more restrictive regulations on employers.