Understand the consequences of underfunded K-12 students

What’s New Archive — The old news perspective….

Funding Washington Schools

Archived Current Event Headlines — March 2009 back to 2008




Wed Feb. 27: Report to WASSDA by Dan Steele—Overall update

The Legislative Goals for 2009 Session

Preserve implementation of ESHB 2261 Bill - not lose ground on the funding of key ed reform principles

The BEF Task Force examined the underlying issues in an effort to introduce legislation that will directly:

1. Update WA State's legal definition and funding formulas of Basic Education (a legal description of specific programs) to reflect current education practices and requirements.

2. Determine the redefinition and funding formula to legally fulfill the State’s obligation to fully fund education as its paramount constitutional duty, by providing ample opportunities for all students to achieve higher learning levels consistent with standards-based education reform.

3. Ensure the funding system is fully accountable by generating consistent and transparent accounting processes.

Contact the committee members — BEF Member Contact Info (PDF)


Feb 26th—Advocacy Day for Education in Olympia an outstanding success!

Thank you to the 350+ advocates and dozens of legislators,

persevering through the morning snowstorm,

to stand together in leadership and solidarity for education and children!

WA State PTA’s Focus Day Rally on the Steps!


Mon. Feb. 23: A must read - Report to WASSDA by Dan Steele on new SB 6048, following a public hearing.

BEF bills 1410 and 5444 are now in transition (OK, dead...) — new tentative bills are HB 2261 and SB 6048.

1:00 PM Feb. 18th:  Fast moving legislation of the past week is now replaced with companion bills by Rep. Sullivan, HB 2261, and Senator Oemig, SB 6048.

Core 24 high school hours, a modernized teacher compensation, and early learning funding are concepts struggling to be retained.  Any message that you send to your legislators could explicitly state that you want higher high school graduation requirements (Core 24), a reformed compensation model for paying teachers, and the investment in pre-K – all are at high risk of exclusion for multiple reasons (mostly voiced from ed unions).

These new bills may provide new hope. The bills may be empty, but the framework is intact, at this point.  If the bills pass with the framework, students may still win.  The next negotiations with the unions will probably revolve around what are the priority issues to tackle, and when and how to implement them.

This Friday Feb. 20th is the cutoff date for the House, and Feb. 25th is the cutoff for the Senate. A lot of work to do in a few days.  These new, place-holder bills were written such that they should pass through committee this round. Constituent pressure will keep the framework and issues alive.

Lawmakers will need our state-wide support to push through the reform legislation in progress right now:

· Talking Points on HB 1410 and SB 5444 - 1-pg overview by League of Education Voters.

· Talking Points on House Bill 1410 and Senate Bill 5444 - an overview with explanation and comparison of the main reform bills; by Barb Billinghurst.

· Detailed Comparison Chart of HB 1410 to HB1817 - by League of Education Voters.

· Comparison of Current Law, House Bill 1817 and House Bill 1410 - prepared by WA Legislature staff (SB5444 is the identical companion bill in the Senate to HB1410 in the House).

· House Bill 1410 and Senate Bill 5444  — bipartisan bills developed in the Jan-Apr 2009 budget Session for the eventual full funding of K-12 education phased in over the next 6 to 8 years; sponsored by the BEF committee legislators and dozens of other legislators — these are it!

· SB 5607—The Full Funding Coalition Bill  -  legislation alternative put forward by the education unions and professional education associations of Washington.

Local School Boards pass endorsements in support of HB1410 / SB 5444 reforms

As of February 12th, the school boards formally endorsing include:

Bremerton            5,152                                                                           Northshore         20,018

Bellevue               16,772                                                                          Seattle              45,581

Issaquah           16,642                                                                             Spokane           29,454

Washington State has approx. 1,031,800 students — these total about 13% of the student population.

More docs in support of this education reform legislation

¨ Fund What Kids Need — a flyer for Seattle school audiences, by Ramona Hattendorf

¨ Some Really Big Ideas  - outline of HB1410 & SB5444 —a PowerPoint by Barb Billinghurst.

¨ Overview of Teacher Pay for Performance — by WSIPP.

¨ Our kids can’t wait” - a current article on the current status of funding progress, from WA State PTA


Jan 14  — Final Report: Basic Education Finance Joint Task Force — Just released final recommendations!




Nov 25 — New Initial Draft Final Report of the Joint Task Force for Basic Education FinanceRead more about the hearing.

LEV & PFL release a summary of their joint market research of Washington residents on their perception of the state of K-12 education in the state, and the “hot buttons” for engaging residents in understanding the consequences of policy and funding.

Nov 23 — Two reports by WSSIP from the BEF hearing Summary of Preliminary Decisions—November 23, 2008 Revision, Summary of Proposal Items to be Decided—November 23, 2008.  Read more about the hearing.

Nov 17New BEF Proposal Comparison  -  This new PDF contains an updated summary of proposals submitted to the Basic Education Finance Joint Task Force. Five proposals are described (listed below in their entirety under Oct. 15th The 5 Proposals and Their Key Documents). A new column is included noting the committee’s tentative preference of a proposal’s approach to a policy or component.

Additionally, a draft listing of BEF decisions, or topics of agreement to-date within the committee, is available.

The proposal comparison summary is formatted as a table; each row represents a separate policy or finance component, and each column summarizes the details of each proposal.

Nov 4BEF Proposal Comparison - Original  -  This packet is the original of the now updated comparison of Nov 17.

Local School Boards pass endorsements in support of HB1410 / SB 5444 reforms

As of February 12th, the school boards formally endorsing include:

Bremerton            5,152                                                                           Northshore         20,018

Bellevue               16,772                                                                          Seattle              45,581

Issaquah           16,642                                                                             Spokane           29,454

Washington State has approx. 1,031,800 students — these total about 13% of the student population.

Oct 17 Online video of Reps. Hunter and Jarret and Sen. Tom presenting an overview of their proposal to the BEF Task Force, Basic Ed Funding: A Model School Approach — great viewing, 1 1/2 hours.

Oct 15Members of the Basic Education Finance Task Force now have four of the five comprehensive proposals they will consider to develop their final recommendations. These are the proposals summarized in the Comparison above. The bipartisan Task Force will release its recommendations on December 1. 

Various education associations and some task force members themselves played a role in developing these proposals to meet the legislative charge of the task force: define basic education and develop the appropriate funding formulas and structures for it.

Collectively, these five proposals will identify: the programs to be included in basic education; the formulas for fully funding the cost of basic education; a teacher compensation system that is competitive and rationale; and an accountability system that is transparent and effective.

The basic ed programs in the proposals are backed by research and include such strategies as helping struggling students and increasing the professional competencies of teachers.

The Task Force will also consider several proposals they received that were focused on a single issue such as ensuring students’ health or providing nutritious meals.

The 5 Proposals and Their Key Documents


1)   Chairman Dan Grimm

Chairman Grimm’s proposal:

A)  Improving Student Performance: The Fundamentals


2)   Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction by Superintendent Terry Bergeson.

a) Funding System to Support Student Success: Quality Educator Development, Compensation, and Support, Terry Bergeson, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; Erin LaVerdiere, Sumner School District; Jeanne Harmon, Center for the Strengthening of the Teaching Profession; Holly Koon, Mount Baker High School;and Pete Bylsma, education consultant

b) A Funding System to Support Student Success: Presentation to the Basic Education Funding Task Force—Student Support and System Foundations, Terry Bergeson, Howard DeLeeuw, John Aultman, and Dennis Small, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; Vickie Damon, Renton School District; John Mannix and Neil Sullivan, Spokane Public Schools; and Mike Cullum, Northshore School District

c)   Executive Summary

d)   Development Model

e)   Compensation Model

f)     Staffing Model: Class Size

g)   Staffing Model: Libraries

h)   Staffing Model: Health

i)     Staffing Model: Learning Support

j)     Struggling Students

k)   English Language Learners

l)     Career and Technical

m)  Staffing Model: Guidance

n)   Classified Staff: Ratios

o)   Classified Staff: School Security

p)   Classified Staff: Salary Allocations

q)   Classified Staffing Salary Allocation Method—Appendix A

r)     NERC: Foundation

s)   NERC: Instructional Technology

t)     NERC: Curriculum


3)   Basic Ed Funding: A Model School Approach by BEF member legislators R. Hunter / G. Anderson / F. Jarret / P. Sullivan / R. Tom /

S. Priest—www.whatitakesforkids.com.

a) Washington State Basic Education Funding Proposal: Preparing Children to Succeed in the 21st Century

b) Presentation Slideshow


4) Full Funding Coalition by Paul Rosier and Bill Freund, Washington Association of School Administrators; Randy Parr, Washington Education Association; and David Conley, Center for Educational Policy Research, University of Oregon (Coalition members are Association of Washington Principals, Public School Employees, Washington Association of School Administrators, Washington Education Association, Washington State School Directors Association).

a) Presentation Slideshow

b) Attaining a World-Class K–12 System: Aligning Washington’s Funding Structure with 21st Century Educational Expectations

c) Appendix


5) League of Education Voters

a) Five Proposals to Transform Washington Education Finance and Drive Gains in Student Achievement



SUMMARY: A summary by BEF’s independent research support staff of proposals: Proposal Report on Funding Models to the Basic Education Finance JTF — Sep.15, 2008. The comparisons start as narrative at the beginning of the report , followed by charts and detail  -  WSIPP’s report shows proposals from Dr. Bergeson/OSPI, LEV/League of Education Voters, Full Funding Coalition/WEA, AWSP, WSSDA, WASA, and PSE/Public School Employees of Washington,, and Representative Skip Priests (Note: Skip Priest is signing on to the proposal by Hunter/Tom/Anderson/others).