Supplemental Operating Budgets Released

House Democrats released their 2018 supplemental budget proposal Tuesday- it does not fund early teacher salaries and would cut property taxes in 2019 and 2020 using the money from the increase in the revenue forecast.

The budget plan would reduce property taxes even further starting in 2021 but would replace the lost revenue with a tax on capital gains tax which the House as yet to pass. The proposal reveals big differences between how House and Senate leaders approach the supplemental budget. Unlike the House, the Senate’s budget plan includes the roughly $1 billion necessary to expedite teacher salaries. However, it is expected the House will amend their budget proposal and include the early salary money to mirror the Senate’s position. 

McCLEARY BILL- SB 6362

The House Appropriations Committee heard the Senate proposal to address McCleary fixes on Saturday. Many education advocates testified with general support of the proposal but made several requests:

  • greater investment in special education
  • concern about the transportation grant program and removal of transportation enrichment levy
  • requests for additional fixes to regionalization formula
  • return of late start/early release time
  • requests for changing of levy policy

Session Scheduled to End March 8

Budget negotiators report negotiations are going well. There is little talk of special session and a common message of “we’ll be done on time” – that said, legislators have to reconcile final budgets, agree on McCleary changes, and find compromise on the growing issue of school safety.

Senate Capital Budget (WASA Summary)

The Senate’s 2018 Supplemental Capital Budget (Proposed Substitute SB 6095) is a $335 million package, funded with a mixture of cash ($149 million) and bonds ($186 million). K-12 construction would receive $66 million of the total increase:

  1. The School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP) would receive $51.3 million to cover additional school construction projects not accounted for in the underlying two-year budget.
  2. The Small Rural District Modernization Grant program would receive $6.0 million.
  3. Distressed Schools funding would increase by $9.0 million; however, this funding would be provided to three specific schools named in the budget: Chief Leschi’s auditorium, Frantz H. Coe elementary (Seattle), and the Glacier-site middle school (Highline).

AESD Items of Interest

  • School Safety: SB 6410 in the House Education Committee on Monday, 2/19. However, it was not voted on prior to the cut off date so it it essentially dead for the session. However, Sen. Mike Padden offered a floor amendment to the Senate budget which appropriates grant money for ESDs and school districts to create regional safety centers. Another adopted amendment which creates a task force for school safety. New safety bills dealing with gun control issues are expected to receive public hearing this week.
  • HB 1827 Teacher Shortage: provisions requiring regional recruiters at EDS are still part of the bill. The Senate has not yet moved the bill from committee.
  • Mental Health, SB 6141, regarding suicide prevention passed the House Education Committee and waiting for a full floor vote.

Hearings This Week

Appropriations (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 2/26 @ 11:00am

  • SB 6210 – Exec Session – Addressing the terms under which tribal schools may participate in the state retirement systems as part of a state-tribal education compact.
  • ESSB 6241 – Exec Session – Concerning the January 1, 2020, implementation of the school employees’ benefits board program.
  • ESSB 6257 – Exec Session – Developing a funding model for early intervention services for eligible children.
  • SSB 6340 – Exec Session – Providing a benefit increase to certain retirees of the public employees’ retirement system plan 1 and the teachers’ retirement system plan 1.

Detailed Bill Summary

Download a detailed list of bills concerning education.