Statement from Dorn on Inslee's Proposed Education Budget

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Randy I. Dorn

Statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on Gov. Jay Inslee’s Proposed Education Budget

The Governor released his budget proposal regarding K‒12 education. Below is a statement from Dorn on Inslee’s inadequate plan.

OLYMPIA — December 18 As we’ve seen in years past, and have come to expect from our state’s “leaders,” Gov. Jay Inslee’s education budget proposal again falls far short of what is needed to comply with the orders issued by the Supreme Court in McCleary v Washington. It makes no substantial progress toward the full funding of basic education.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly demanded that the Legislature develop a plan for full funding. In fact, they sanctioned the state $100,000 per day for failing to produce a plan that, by 2018, would fully fund basic education without the use of local levies. There is still no plan. And when session starts, the state will owe $14 million in fines.

In April, I released a complete plan to fully fund basic education for all students. When I submitted my 2016 legislative budget request on November 2, I proposed the state increase funding by about $173 million to stay on track to full funding.

Working without a plan, Inslee proposes an increase of about $87 million.

Now, it’s not all bad. Inslee does fund some increases to Jobs for Washington’s Graduates, CorePlus, Career and Technical Education, Healthiest Next Generation initiative, language access for families and discipline equity. And he did raise beginning teacher salaries and increase funding for mentoring to help decrease our state’s teacher shortage.

But while all of those things are good, Inslee continues to avoid the real issue of McCleary.

The state must stop relying on school districts to pass local levies to fund the elements of basic education.

Although salaries are an element of basic education and should be paid for by the state, the state now pays only a portion of what school employees actually earn. In his budget, Inslee actually digs school districts into a deeper hole because a salary increase applies to a teacher’s total salary, not just the amount covered by the state. That places an additional burden on districts to come up with the difference.

I’m tired of sounding like a broken record. I’m tired of the so-called leaders of our state ignoring this serious problem. Who is going to step up and do what’s right for the kids in our state?

The Legislature will be releasing their budget proposals soon. Based on experience, I’m not optimistic.        


Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager

Kristen Jaudon
OSPI Communications Specialist

About OSPI

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state's 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at 360-725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.