Education Funding “Hot Topic” at State’s Legislative Session

Ahl explains that the Legislature decided exactly what was needed to meet the constitutional requirement for fully funding education. But that was in 1993. “The next step was to set up a new funding structure to fund those reforms. And instead, every two years, we’ve had a new study – talking about the issue a lot – and more mandates set forth on school districts – yet, the funding has been cut.” Ahl says state lawmakers passed an updated bill in 2009, but haven’t funded it, either. In the meantime, she says, local tax levies now make up more than 20 percent of many school districts’ budgets and are being used for needs like special education and transportation, which are technically the state’s responsibility to pay for. The Supreme Court decision can be viewed at www.courts.wa.gov.

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