Washington Education Funding Must Happen By 2018
- Jan 10, 2012 | Susan McLain
Reported in the Seattle Times, “The state Supreme Court ruled…the state isn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to amply pay for basic public education.” The state has been given until 2018 to make reforms necessary to provide for basic educational needs.
Currently, “[a]bout 43 percent of the state’s general fund – about $15 billion in each two-year budget cycle—is spent on K-12 education.” General sales taxes bring in nearly 50% of the state’s revenues, according to Tax Foundation and Census Bureau reports.
Based on the state Supreme Court ruling, Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire (D) is quoted by Tax Analysts as stating, “This ruling reinforces my call for a half-penny sales tax increase to invest in education. If we don’t, we take a step backward and not only threaten a violation of the court’s ruling, but make it more difficult for students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to compete in today’s global economy.”
Other proposals include a call from the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee for replacing “…local levy dollars with more statewide property-tax collections.” This would mean shifting dollars from local areas to the state-wide education system. And then there is the issue of shortening the school year and changing the way teachers and principals are evaluated and layoffs are determined.