Replacement Educational Programs & Operations Levy
The Washington Supreme Court ruled state lawmakers have not fulfilled their obligation to fully funding education. What does this means for Highline Public Schools?
The state education funding plan passed earlier this year is a step in the right direction, but it is a work in progress. Actual costs for educating our students are still not fully covered by the state.
A local levy is still critical to pay for needs the state is not yet fully funding, like special education, school nurses, school security, transportation, teacher training days and other critical needs. Some examples are:
- Additional teachers and support staff beyond the minimum staffing funded by the state. This allows us to have smaller class sizes and more teachers and instructional assistants working with our students.
- Educational help for students with special needs, since state and federal funding does not cover the full costs.
- Outdoor education experiences at Camp Waskowitz, including sixth grade camp
- Extended learning opportunities for students who need extra help
- Athletic programs
- School nurses (State funding pays for only three school nurses to serve our entire district; we pay for 15 nurses who serve medically fragile students as well as general health and safety needs.)
- Teacher training days
- School security officers
The new state plan reduces the amount of funding we can request from local taxpayers when we renew our educational programs levy. Even with passage of a renewal levy, we will actually see a net reduction in revenue after levy expires unless the legislature makes changes to the current funding plan.
The school board is considering placing a levy on the February 2018 ballot.