The association that represents the state’s elected school board members praised Governor Jay Inslee’s education funding proposal Tuesday as a “great starting point” in the effort to fully fund basic education in the state’s K-12 system.
“The governor has set out a solid foundation for the budget discussion on education funding,” said Debra Long, president of the Washington State School Directors’ Association and a Central Valley school director. “We appreciate that he is proposing investments in transportation, full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes and school operations.”
The spending plan is in line with the major priorities adopted by the WSSDA Board of Directors and reflected the sentiments expressed by the broader membership during a conference earlier in the year.
“This is a great starting point and we look forward to conversations over the next month to move the funding needle upwards a little to comply with the order from the state Supreme Court,” said Dr. Jonelle Adams, WSSDA’s executive director.
Late last month, the association coordinated with local school boards to start passing local resolutions urging the legislature to act.
“This is far and away the most important legislative issue year for us and we are speaking loudly in one voice,” said Long. “The 100th board passed the resolution earlier this week and more are flowing in every day.”
The resolution asks the Legislature to pass a clear plan to phase in funding increases to cover basic education and the cost of the state’s new teacher-principal evaluation system. Districts began passing the resolution, drafted by the state association, in late February. Several have arrived each day as boards addressed the issue during their regular meetings.
The districts passing the resolution cover the state, from east to west and north to south. The districts are large and small, rural and urban. WSSDA has set up a web page to track the passage of the resolutions. The page is located on the association’s website at www.wssda.org.