Fellow Democrats –
We’ve got big news out of Olympia today – the state House of Representatives passed its education funding plan!
House Votes for Education Funding!
On a party line 50-47 vote, the state House of Representatives today passed HB 1843, the Democratic legislative proposal to fully fund education.
This bill will increase education spending, raise teacher salaries, lower class sizes, and fund additional investments in career & technical instruction, bilingual instruction, guidance counselors, the Learning Assistance Program for struggling students, Highly Capable, and other important programs. Meanwhile, Republicans proposed failing amendments to CUT local education funding in the bill.
Now both parties have passed education bills – the House Democratic plan would increase school funding and raise teacher salaries, while the Senate Republican bill raises regressive taxes on the middle class and enact backwards reforms that hurt teachers and students.
A lot of work is yet to be done, but this is a big step forward for full funding for our schools. We’ll continue to keep the spotlight on this issue and how we can push for a fair and effective McCleary solution that helps all students succeed.
Levy Cliff Bill Still Waiting In Senate
Meanwhile in the Senate, Republicans are still refusing to allow a vote on the “levy cliff” legislation that would prevent $358 million in school funding cuts statewide next year if the legislature doesn’t act. The bill received bipartisan support in the House, but Senate Republicans refused to act on it.
Gov. Jay Inslee and school superintendents from the Lake Washington, Federal Way, Sunnyside, and Seattle school districts held a press conference calling on Senate Republicans to hold a vote on the bill so that the legislature can prevent funding cuts:
The four superintendents from Seattle, Lake Washington, Sunnyside and Federal Way School districts said their districts would take a combined hit of $66 million if the bill doesn’t pass — ranging from $2 million in the Sunnyside district to $30 million in Seattle.
While timing for each district varies, Seattle Superintendent Larry Nyland said that his district will have to send out budget notices next Tuesday notifying schools about potential staffing allocations.
Dino Rossi represents the 45th LD in the Senate and is one of the Republican budget leaders, but he’s preventing the bill from moving forward. His inaction is creating the possibility for huge cuts to schools in his area and across the state.
We all know Dino Rossi, and we know that we’re going to have to FORCE him to act. Call Rossi’s office at 360-786-7672 and let him know that we need to avoid school funding cuts and students, teachers, and the superintendent of the schools in his own district are ALL calling on the Senate to allow a vote on the levy cliff bill, HB 1059!
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Let’s keep a spotlight on the legislature this year and we’ll stay in touch with you about how we can work together to fight back, beat the Republicans, and deliver wins for the people of Washington!
The WA Democrats Communications Team