The Washington state Legislature today released its 2011-13 budget proposal. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on how the budget would affect education.
OLYMPIA - May 24, 2011 - Our Constitution is very clear: education is the state’s “paramount duty.” Our children are to receive a basic education, funded by the state. The proposed cuts to teacher salaries, classroom sizes in early grades, alternative learning programs and Medicaid billing are all basic education. I believe those cuts are unconstitutional and will lead to fewer teachers and larger class sizes.
In short, they will mean that students in Washington state will not receive as complete an education as they did just a few years ago.
I’m also disappointed that K-12 education will receive $1 billion less than promised, with cuts to two voter-approved initiatives. On top of that, cuts are being proposed to Running Start, food services and summer vocational programs at skills centers – all programs designed to help students who need help the most. Those programs will survive only if districts have enough local money to fund them.
I understand that the Legislature had a difficult job to do. I worked very closely during the session with legislators to minimize the cuts to education. A number of potentially harmful ideas did not pass, such as reducing the length of the school year, changing how districts receive state money to include students’ average daily attendance, cutting levy equalization and changing how school buses are paid for. Plus, I’m encouraged that the Legislature fully funded the OSPI-Microsoft IT Academy. I believe the Academy is a game-changer. It will put technology and training in every high school in the state, giving students a huge advantage when preparing for college or career.
I look forward to the day when our economy recovers, and we can truly fully fund an ample education for all children in our state.
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.
Twitter | Facebook | Flickr
OSPI Communications Manager