Happy Holidays! While everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming holidays, Governor Gregoire has published her 2011-2013 balanced budget. Many state programs have been eliminated or cut all together. Listed below are the cuts that will directly affect K-12 programs.
How do cuts affect K-12 students?
K-4 class size reduction. This was also cut from the current budget on Dec. 11 by the legislature. Payments to school districts will end in February. Schools must honor contracts through this year and will have to tap their reserves to pay extra staff. Going forward, this cut translates to about 1,500 fewer K-4 teachers in 2011-13.
Funds for highly capable students
I-728, the student achievement fund. Often dubbed the “class-size reduction initiative,” I-728 funds could be used to reduce class size, or to provide extended learning opportunities, professional development for educators, pre-K support, or building improvements relating to class-size reductions. I- 728 was first reduced, then suspended entirely, in the current biennial budget.
Levy Equalization Assistance. LEA would be cut by 6.3 percent overall, but the governor’s plan would organize districts into tiers, and cut the least from the most property poor. Background on LEA: School districts are allowed to ask voters to pay for enhancements to basic education –such as for extracurricular activities, more class offerings or additional instructional time. But because some districts have low property values or land is not taxable – local assistance can vary dramatically. To help balance it, the state provides LEA funds to make property tax rates in property poor districts closer to those in property rich districts.
Navigation 101, by 6 percent. Navigation 101 is a life skills and planning program for students in grades 6 through 12.
SUSPENDED: I-732, cost of living raises for teachers; bonuses for national board certification; bonuses for working in challenging schools; step-schedule salary increases
REDUCED: Funds for alternative routes to teaching; funding for the state superintendent’s office (OSPI) and the Professional Educator Standards Board (cuts of 10 percent, to each)
PROGRAM REDUCTION: The proposal also would eliminate or reduce smaller programs, grants and allocations, including multi-year pilot programs and specialized programs that are not central to school operations. Eliminations would include 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 start up grants, Readiness to Learn Program, and Washington Reading Corps.
If you would like more information on the cuts to education go to http://www.wastatepta.org/advocacy/interim_session/2011_13_budget_highlights.pdf
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