Basic Ed

Senate Budget – Unconstitutional Fund Transfer?

In the Senate Republican budget they transfer $166 million of the “Common School Construction Fund” into the operating budget. The Treasurer does not believe he has the constitutional authority to make this transfer and has said so publicly. The Senate Republicans are waving a letter from their staff attorney that…


Education Bills and Background

Lots has been happening on the education front this year, though the most important thing is happening in closed rooms as the House and Senate work out their budget proposals. I sat on a school funding panel in front of the Washington State School Directors Association today with Sen. Bruce…


Legislative Update

We’ve gone through the first week. The governor and the state-wide officials have all been inaugurated, I fit into the same tuxedo I got married in 23 years ago for the inaugural ball, the Senate is in uproar about Senator Tom’s defection and the consequent change in partisan control, the…


What’s in “McCleary?”

In 2012 the Washington State Supreme Court found that Washington State is not funding our education system at anything close to the level the constitution requires. Just before the holidays the court opined again, that “the overall level of funding remains below the levels that have been declared constitutionally inadequate.”…



Tax Incidence in Washington

(9/25/2014 Fixed link to DC study and updated it to the 2012 version.) There were a number of questions asked in today’s K-12 Finance Task Force meeting about how taxpayers in different income strata experience Washington’s tax system. I’m providing some links to interesting data while we wait for more…


School Funding Task Force Work Plan

At the school funding task force meeting this morning we discussed and adopted the a work plan for the exercise. The document describing this work plan is available here: Initial Plan for K-12 funding policy development . Below is the intro text from this document: In January the Washington State Supreme…



How Much is Enough?

A constituent asked me the following questions in email this week and I think the answers are worth pointing out. 1) Can you show me the studies that indicate there is a correlation between money spent per student and student achievement? It would be good to know that spending more…


School Funding post-McCleary

I have not yet completely read the long opinion Judge Erlick issued yesterday in a court case brought by school districts, parents, and educator groups but I’m excited by the summary and the implications for a positive impact on school funding in Washington. The judge ruled that the state does…