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Superintendent's Statement

Statement by Supt. Randy Dorn on Gov. Gregoire’s Biennial Budget Proposal

OLYMPIA - December 15, 2010 - Gov. Chris Gregoire today released her 2011-13 budget proposal. On Saturday, the state Legislature cut $590 million from the fiscal year 2011 budget in a special session. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on how the budgets will affect education.

The past five days have been the worst for students in Washington state in the 30 years I’ve been in education. Gov. Gregoire’s budget proposal will not allow us to move forward. It feels like we’ll be starting over.

But this budget isn’t all about numbers; it’s about kids. And once again, our kids got cut.

Essential programs are being eliminated, such as in achievement gap, dropout, and career and technical education. These programs help thousands of kids graduate and become career and college ready. The K-4 class-size reductions, which have been funded for more than 20 years, were suspended. That translates into 1,500 teachers losing their jobs.

The Governor’s budget proposes $20 million in cuts to our state assessment system during the next two years, but it doesn’t make it fairer for students. Changes in state law will require students to pass five tests to graduate from high school beginning this school year. My math and science proposal makes it fairer for students, will garner the same savings and keeps the graduation requirements as rigorous as they have been.

In my two years as state superintendent, I’ve been a champion for students most in need. After seeing the biennial budget and the cuts from the special session, I have to ask: What has happened to our Constitution? Are people paying attention to what our “paramount duty” is? The courts have ruled that the state isn’t adequately funding education, and that was based on budgets two years ago.

This budget comes on the heels of the Legislature’s special session, in which $208 million of federal money was eliminated. The effect of this is again to place a larger burden of education funding on local districts when it should be the state’s responsibility.

 

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 School 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 does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

CONTACT:
Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

 

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