Superintendent’s remarks, Board meeting: January 13, 2015

Gov. Inslee released his proposed biennial budget, as required, this past December. The centerpiece of his budget plan is his education funding package, consisting of a $2.3 billion two-year investment for early learning ($156 million), K-12 education ($2 billion), and higher education ($165 million). Gov. Inslee’s budget documents note that the proposed $1.3 billion basic education investment would constitute full implementation of House Bill 2776. While this is true, it is important to remember that full implementation of HB 2776 does not fully implement HB 2661, nor does it comply with the Supreme Court’s orders in the McCleary decision.

Setting aside the recently passed Class Size Initiative 1351, OSPI estimates that an additional $4.5 billion is the minimum level of new funding required under McCleary. Although a solid second step, the governor’s budget proposal misses that mark significantly.

As you know, this is a process and the Governor’s budget proposal is the first marker.