Why didn’t our Legislature fully fund education? | Letter

A letter in support of the upcoming Northshore School District measures.

As the Feb. 13 election approaches we are encouraged to vote yes for schools. This is confusing since on June 30, 2017, Gov. Jay Inslee signed EHB 2242 and stated, “I am proud to sign a historic budget that fully funds our schools…” There are 19 school districts in King County, 16 of these will be proposing to replace expiring levies for educational programs and operations. In addition, 12 of the 19 school districts will be proposing levies or bonds to pay for technology and or capital projects.

Huh, with so many school districts needing money, we should look into this claim that our schools are fully funded.

EHB 2242:

Provides funding for a high school student to earn 20 credits in four years. As of 2019, students will need 24 credits to graduate. Where will the money come from for these four unfunded graduation credits? Local bonds and levies!

States class sizes for K-3 shall be reduced from 25.23 to 17. Every school district will need one additional classroom for every two existing classrooms. Where will the money come from to build these classrooms? Local bonds and levies!

Provides funding for special education. Instead of funding the cost of the services each student needs, it’s a set amount per student. Where will the money come from for these unfunded special education services? Local bonds and levies!

Caps the number of special education students eligible for funding at 13.5 percent of the total enrollment in a school district. Where will the money come from to support the unfunded special education students? Local bonds and levies!

States that for technology, a school district will be paid $130.76 (K-8) or $167.11 (9-12) per FTE student. Think about how much you spend on technology/wireless access at home. Where will the money come from to provide students the technology they need? Local bonds and levies!

Provides funding for highly capable programs. Instead of funding the cost of the students’ educational needs, it’s a set amount per student. Where will the money come from for these unfunded educational needs? Local bonds and levies!

Caps the number of highly capable students eligible for funding at 5 percent of the total FTE enrollment in a school district. Where will the money come from to support the unfunded highly capable students? Local bonds and levies!

Does not include the words “music,” “sport,” “theater” or “club.” Where will the money come from for these essential enrichment activities? Local bonds and levies!

States that for technology support, a school district will be allocated one staff member per 1,592 FTE students. With one teacher per 30 students, that will be 531 teachers sharing one tech support staff member. Where will the money come from to provide teachers the technology support they need? Local bonds and levies!

I’m convinced; our schools are not fully funded by the state. Vote yes for schools!

Katrina Rose,

Kenmore

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