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Dorn, OSPI Staff, to Testify on Short- and Long-Term Funding

OLYMPIA — January 18, 2011 — Two versions of education funding – one long-term, the other short-term; one more optimistic than the other – are being presented today by staff members of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

At 1:30 p.m., State Superintendent Randy Dorn testified to the House Education Committee on the progress of the Quality Education Council. Established by Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2261 in 2009, the QEC’s purpose is to develop recommendations for the implementation of a new definition of basic education and for the financing necessary to support it.

Dorn, the QEC chairman, will testify about the council’s legislative report, which outlines the next steps – including ample funding, opportunities to graduate from high school with skills needed for college or career and programs to close the gap between white students and students of color – needed to ensure that the new system is in place by 2018.

Passed in 2010, Substitute House Bill 2776 authorizes the phase-in of a new pupil transportation formula and non-employee related costs.

“We’ve made good progress,” Dorn said. “This fall we’re going to begin a transportation system that doesn’t burden districts like the old system did. We’ve also established reasonable costs for maintenance, insurance, lights and heat.”

Contrasting the long-term picture, at 3:30 p.m., OSPI Chief Financial Officer Shawn Lewis will testify to the House Ways and Means Committee about the effects of House Bill 1086 on education. HB 1086, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s 2010 supplemental budget, provides cuts necessary to implement the current budget.

“My message is: no more cuts to education,” Dorn said. “That includes levy equalization, which would be cut by this bill. We’ve seen too many cuts during the past two years. Districts are being forced to lay off personnel, and that will affect how well our students are educated.”

 

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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