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Governor Inslee's Education Budget Proposal

Photo credit: Patrick Sand, West Seattle Blog Co-Publisher

Governor Inslee 2015 Education Budget Proposal, Cliff Notes Edition

(Be sure to read the next post which includes more specifics about funding the budget proposal)

Governor Inslee released his 2015 Education Funding Package Monday night, which includes his vision for the future of early learning, K–12 education, and higher education. More detailed information will be released on Thursday, but the highlights of the K–12 education package include $1.3 billion in additional funding, increasing the state’s Near General Fund spending to 47% of the total state budget. Some of the major highlights in Governor Inslee’s proposal that directly impact principals include:

General Funding Changes

  • Increase materials, supplies, and operating costs (MSOC) from $848 per student to $1,216 per student in 2015–16. ($751.8 million)

  • Fund Initiative 732 salary increases plus an additional 3 percent increase in 2015-16 and 1.8 percent in 2016–17. ($385.5 million)

  • For the state’s share of higher K–12 pension contribution rates. ($210 million)

  • Provide training for 350 teachers in math, science, and computer science; develop environment science curricula. ($2.3 million)

  • Expand project-based math and science curricula in environmental, natural resource, and agricultural sectors. ($1.0 million)

Principal Funding

  • Fund turnaround programs for schools identified for the state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools. Use evidenced-based models for school improvement including principal and instruction coaching. ($4.2 million)

  • Support 100 first-year principals with coaching and professional development. ($1 million)

  • Fund training for approximately 1,800 principals to receive professional development on best practices for special education. (a portion of $144 million for special education services)

Elementary School Funding

  • Fund reduced class sizes to 17 for grades K–3 by the 2016–17 school year. ($448.1 million)

  • Fund full-day kindergarten for all students by 2016–17 school year. ($107.6 million)

  • Fund family engagement coordinators at 600 high-poverty elementary schools. ($40.7 million)

  • Fund breakfast-after-the-bell grants for 30,000 students statewide. ($5 million)

  • Fund outdoor learning opportunities for 5,000 fourth-and fifth-graders. ($1million)

Middle School Funding

  • Fund additional guidance counselors at high-poverty middle schools. ($13.7 million)

High School Funding

  • Fund 300 high-poverty high schools with LAP dollars to extend learning time and wraparound services for students, allow time for staff to develop and implement school-wide graduation strategies, set up school-wide efforts to improve attendance, and match students with mentors and internships. ($34.7 million)

  • Increase low-income student participation in College in the High School. Funding will cover the cost of the fees for up to 10 college credits per year for 7,200 low-income students. ($9 million)

  • Fund pre-apprenticeship programs, post-graduation advanced manufacturing summer terms at skill centers, and Jobs for Washington Graduates. ($3 million)

  • Streamline the number of annually administered student exams and revise the administration of the Collection of Evidence (COE) to be evaluated at the district level rather than by the state. Add a new option of passing a graduation readiness transition course as a way to demonstrate they have met state standards. (-$23 million)

  • Clarify that Running Start programs pertains only to those students taking their course at college or online. (-$5.6 million)

Next Steps

Thursday, December 18, the Governor will release specific language for his whole budget proposal, along with the how he proposes to fund his $2.3 billion investment in early learning, K–12 education, and higher education.

For a more through look at his complete education package, including early learning and higher education, look at the summary or budget highlights.