New Washington Research Council report compares House education plan with the governor’s proposal

The Washington Research Council has published a concise 5-page policy brief comparing the education-funding McCleary fixes proposed by Gov. Inslee and House Democrats. It also provides useful background on the court decision and the mandate under which lawmakers are working this year.

The policy brief is short and clear and we encourage you to read it. The WRC summarizes:

  •   Both Gov. Inslee’s education funding proposal and HB 1843 would increase state allocations for teacher compensation within the current funding structure, with some changes.

  •   HB 1843 would adjust salaries for regional differences, and salaries would be rebased every six years based on a comparable wage analysis.

  •   HB 1843 would include the I-732 cost-of-living adjustments and I-1351 class size reductions in the definition of basic education.

  •   The bill would gradually lower the amount school districts could levy until reaching 24 percent of their revenues in 2021.

  •   The bill would increase spending by $1.763 billion in 2017–19, $5.822 billion in 2019–21, and $7.005 billion in 2021–23.

  •   Some funding options suggested by Democrats on the Education Funding Task Force are: four-tier nexus, tax preference closures, changes to the B&O tax and the state property tax, a capital gains tax, and carbon pricing.

And there’s this key policy consideration:

Both the governor’s proposal and HB 1843 would effectively stay within the current education funding structure (the prototypical school model—funds are allocated in the amount needed to operate a school of a certain size with certain types of students, scaled to actual enrollment), while making enhancements and some reforms.

In contrast, the Senate-passed SB 5607 made shifted to a per pupil funding model, scrapping the prototypical school formula. The WRC says it will soon release a report on the GOP plan. As we wrote yesterday, the costs of the Senate bill are currently being revised.