OLYMPIA – A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Thursday introduced Senate Bill 6130, a bill that establishes a framework to address the state’s need to reduce its reliance on local school levies to pay for basic education. “We are putting these ideas out on the table. It’s a key outcome that we have agreement on a price tag for this bill, that we agree that it will cost the state about $3.5 billion dollars to actually live up to these recommendations and we have agreement that these recommendations are pretty much the minimal that we need to be doing.” That’s lead Democratic education negotiator, Sen. Christine Rolfes of Kitsap County who, with a bipartisan group of senators, introduced a plan on Thursday to help address the state’s need to reduce its reliance on local school levies to pay for basic education. The plan will transfer the burden from local communities to the state for funding competitive state-wide teacher salaries. The bill recognizes the need for additional revenue, yet sponsors have not identified a revenue source. “How we pay for that we still need to come to agreement on, but the fact that we agree on that figure and that we agree that cannot come from cutting other parts of the state operating budget is a very, very big deal for us.”
Nicole Vukonich reporting from the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.