Reykdal: House Democratic Budget Proposal Focuses on Student Success and Effective Educators
On Monday, the House Democratic Caucus released their proposal for the 2017-19 operating budget. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal on the proposal.
OLYMPIA — MARCH 28, 2017 — Today, the operating budget
proposal from the state House Democratic Caucus passed out of the Appropriations committee and is on its way to the House floor for a vote Friday.
The proposal lays out a comprehensive plan for funding basic education and additional services critical for student success and teacher retention.
Recognizing the need to go beyond “basic” education funding, the proposal makes critical investments in the “whole” child – programs and services that enable students to be successful in school and at home and in their community.
Like the Senate plan, the House Democratic proposal also raises beginning teacher salaries, which is a great step in addressing the teacher shortage that has plagued so many of our districts. Amply funding basic education cannot happen unless the state fully funds our compensation system. We are only as good as the professionals we can attract and retain.
The absence of a teacher salary allocation schedule is a bit concerning, however. Our compensation system should center on rewarding educators who increase their knowledge, skills, and abilities to best serve our students. School districts rely on a state framework for compensation, and the final negotiated budget solution should include a salary allocation model and a rock-solid definition of what basic education compensation is and is not.
Between the Governor, Senate and House plans, I believe the key ingredients are in place for a bipartisan solution to our education funding challenges. OSPI will continue to support policy makers in their budget and policy contemplations as they move closer to compromise.
As long as legislators put students first and take the necessary risks to amply fund the system with predictable and sustainable revenue, we will make progress on becoming the nation’s leading education system. This challenge is about much more than solving a court case – it’s about recommitting ourselves to a public educations system that has been the bedrock of our State’s economy for nearly 130 years.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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