Last week, Governor Inslee presented his budget for the next legislative session. We’re happy to see lots of support for education in the budget. Unfortunately, even though revenues are up, we don’t have enough to pay for the projected costs of current programs. We need additional revenue to pay for new programs we know our education system needs – like special education funding, additional nurses and counselors, and additional mental health supports. The Governor proposes an increase in several different taxes to pay for issues like education, mental health, and clean energy. Taxes and/or tax reform will be a hot topic in 2019. For WASA’s update on the Governor’s proposed budget click here.
Our AWSP legislative platform for 2019 speaks directly to issues that principals face. Once again we have three interconnected circles--equitable funding, quality workforce, and student support.
Equitable funding means that we acknowledge the important role that principals play by increasing salaries as needed in your local districts and increasing the allocation of principals and assistant principals in the prototypical funding model. You will hear a common theme in our platform--we need enough adults in our buildings to support students. We do not want to see administrative positions reduced.
Our schools need adequate funding in special education services and funding for additional nurses, counselors, and community coordinators. We need these additional adults to help manage basic and mental health needs so that we can do our job with managing student learning. We need to bring our communities into our schools to provide more support.
We need a quality workforce to help ensure academic success for all students. We support a continuum of professional learning for all roles in the PreK-12 system, including paraeducators, teachers, and principals. We support efforts to encourage students to choose education as their profession and we need increased funding for the administrator internship and mentor programs. We also want to see increased support for the coordination of leadership between OSPI, the nine ESDs, WASA and AWSP.
There are many important programs that support students. We welcome additional support from the private sector in providing authentic career exploration and preparation programs and we support the establishment of regional safety centers at each ESD. We are also so proud of the work that the Association of Washington School Leaders does with student leadership groups all across the state. We need additional funding for a new building at Cispus Learning Center and funding for more robust outdoor learning experiences for students.
There will be much more to come in 2019 including weekly legislative reports. In the meantime, please contact me
if you have any questions or comments!