Education funding plan on way to governor; public charter schools get hearing in House

Yesterday we wrote that Senate passage of SB 6195 put the Legislature on track to adopting a plan for how the state will achieve full funding of the public schools. The House passed the measure yesterday and the bill now awaits the governor’s signature. As Austin Jenkins reports for the NW News Network:

Washington lawmakers are making a pledge: to end the reliance on local school district levies to fund basic education — by next year.

Both the Washington House and Senate have passed this pledge. It says very basically: by the end of the 2017 legislative session lawmakers will act to eliminate school district dependency on levy dollars to fund basic education.

Governor Jay Inslee is eager to sign the measure into law.

The Columbian editorial board comments that it’s taken a while, longer than they think was necessary. But,

…this is not the time for piling criticism upon the Legislature. It is a time for celebrating a small victory from lawmakers and the hope for an eventual solution.

Right. And, as this is being written we’re hoping for another victory soon. The House Education Committee is conducting a hearing on SB 6194, a bill passed earlier by the Senate to fix the way public charter schools are funded. That’s necessary because of the state Supreme Court’s unfortunate ruling that the voter-approved public charter school is not constitutional.  A committee vote is expected next Thursday. It’s important that students and families continue to have the option of attending a public charter school. The testimony of these students, teachers and parents is truly compelling.