Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cheat sheet on K-12 finance and budgeting

Beyond  class size: Other essential funding

When it comes to basic education, many in the media talk about salaries and class sizes. That's because salaries and benefits make up about 80 percent of school costs, and the number and size of classes drive staffing levels.

But for years, Washington State PTA has been calling attention to other necessary costs. That's because if the state doesn't fund it, local communities need to pass an excess levy, and PTAs tend to run the levy campaigns. And if the local levy doesn't cover it, then neighborhoods need to fund-raise, and PTAs tend to do the fund-raising. And finally (this is a big one that "think groups" and academics usually overlook), when the money doesn't come through, PTAs find volunteers to work for free.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Inslee budget proposal a good opener

It covers recent K-12 cuts, but leaves heavy lifting around McCleary school funding ruling for another day

Governor Inslee's 2013 Operating Budget Proposal is now available on
Press packet from the governor’s office

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Testimony - SB 5330, Student Achievement

Staff handout for E2SSB 5330, Comparison to Current Law & House Bills

To: House Education Committee
Re: E2SSB 5330, Improved Student Achievement and Outcomes
(To comment on this bill, click here)

WSPTA position: Pro. This bill advances a number of our association’s priority issues, including WaKIDS, K-3 class size, parent involvement coordinators, mentors for teachers, and behavior interventions

Dear Chairwoman Santos and committee members,

Washington State PTA is supportive of Engrossed Secondary Substitute Senate Bill 5330; it is an integrated, directive approach that attempts to make best use of limited resources. We appreciate its emphasis on closing the gaps in achievement and we agree with the underlying premise that money alone is not the answer; rather, it is how we direct additional resources to support programs and practices that best help our students, in particular our struggling atypical students. 

Following is feedback on the bill’s separate provisions, in the order your staff presented them in its handout for E2SSB 5330.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Testimony - Reading bill doesn't address dyslexia

To: House Education Committee
Re: E2SSB 5237 - Establishing accountability for student performance in reading.
(To comment on this bill, click here)

WSPTA position: Mixed support, with mixed feelings

Dear Chairwoman Santos and committee members,

Washington State PTA absolutely supports investments in preschool, full-day K, and professional development, particularly if that professional development educates staff on instructional strategies for children with reading disabilities.

Monday, March 18, 2013

State funding ends today (symbolically)

From here on out, funding for K-12 public schools falls to local levies, private fund-raising and federal Title 1 and special education dollars – symbolically, at least

Take Action: Tell the Legislature to pay its bills, so you don't have to pay twice (or three times)
Legally the state is supposed to cover basic education. In reality, it covers about 2/3s of the cost. The Washington State PTA, League of Education Voters, Washington Education Association, Washington Association of School Administrators, Washington State School Director Association and the Superintendent of Public Instruction unite to tell the Legislature: Pay up. Following is our press release. A link to a coalition ad is above.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In their words: Kids focus on funding

“We, the future of America, need you to care about paying for our schools and teachers.”

 Students shoot video clips to focus attention on school funding