Budget Cuts Hit K-12 Education

This weekend's legislative special session has resulted in some fairly significant cuts to K-12 education.  :(  Notable cuts include elimination of highly capable programs, funding to keep class sizes small, and all-day kindergarten funding.  I don't yet know the impact these cuts will have locally, as some programs share state and local funding sources.

From the Budget Priorities Packet:

How we achieve savings

Eliminate K-4 class size reduction funds  provided to school districts above the state’s basic education allocations for teachers. Funding is sufficient to reduce class size by 1.8 students per teacher above the state’s basic education allocation.  ($216.0 million GF-S)

Eliminate the Highly Capable, or Gifted Program, which provides funding to school districts for educational opportunities designed to challenge highly capable students. The program serves up to 2 percent of  the students in each school district.  ($18.6 million GF-S) 

Eliminate or reduce smaller programs, grants and allocations, including multi-year pilot programs and specialized programs that are not central to school operations. Program eliminations include the Beginning Teacher Pilot Mentoring Program, Focused Assistance Program, Superintendent and Principal Internship Program, middle and high school applied math grants, Leadership Academy, career and technical education program startup grants, Readiness to Learn Program and Washington Reading Corps. Reductions of  6 to 10 percent are made to several other state programs.  ($37.1 million GF-S) 

Reduce by 10 percent the Washington Achievers and College Bound scholarships and student outreach programs.  ($742,000 GF-S)


Suspend the Student Achievement Program under Initiative 728, which provides smaller class sizes, extended learning time for students and professional development for teachers.  ($860.2 million GF-S)

Suspend employee salary increases under Initiative 732 for teachers and other K-12 employees.  ($253.3 million GF-S) Suspend annual bonuses for National Board certified teachers. Additional bonuses provided for National Board certified teachers employed in challenging schools are also suspended.  ($99.5 million GF-S)

Suspend the planned increase of  capacity in all-day kindergarten that would have served thousands more students. Schools will continue to provide full-day kindergarten on a parent-pay basis.  ($57.0 million GF-S)

Suspend annual increment salary increases for teachers. School districts receive funds for teacher salary increments for increases in teaching experience and earned continuing education credits.  ($56.3 million GF-S)

Change state funding for school bus replacement from a depreciation schedule funded over the life of  a school bus to a single state allocation, paid for at the end of  the bus life cycle.  ($95.6 million GF-S)