Thursday, March 9, 2017

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Levy Cliff Bill Passes

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Levy Cliff Bill Passes:

Levy Cliff Bill Passes

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From Washington's Paramount Duty:

What an evening! The Senate passed Lisa Wellman's levy cliff delay bill! 

Huge thanks to all the parents, kids, educators, school board directors, superintendents, and administrators who tirelessly advocated. YOU made all the difference! This win is YOUR win! 

Many thanks to all the legislators who sponsored, supported, and voted for the levy cliff delay bill! 

Now, on to next challenge: meeting our constitutional paramount duty by amply funding public education!

From the News Tribune:
Senators approved Senate Bill 5023 on a 48-1 vote Wednesday, with only Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, voting no.

Read more here:

The caveat is that there is some amendment attached that the money cannot be used for "basic education."  Going to get details on that.

Here's the text of the so-called "accounting clause":

(13) For levies collected in calendar year 2018 and thereafter,
levy collections must be deposited into a local revenue subfund of the general fund to enable a detailed accounting of the amount and object of expenditures from the levy collections. The office of the superintendent of public instruction must collaborate with the office of the state auditor to develop guidance for districts to carry out this requirement.

(14) To ensure that levies for maintenance and operation support under RCW 84.52.053 are not used for basic education programs, beginning with ballot propositions submitted to the voters in calendar year 2018, districts must provide a report to the office of the superintendent of public instruction detailing the programs and activities to be funded through a maintenance and operation levy. Enrichment beyond the state-provided funding in the omnibus appropriations act for the basic education program components under RCW 28A.150.260 is a permitted use of maintenance and operation levies. The report required by this subsection must be submitted to, and approved by, the office of the superintendent of public instruction prior to the election for the proposition.
 On WPD Facebook comment says this:

Here's what both (13) and (14) mean: After January 1, 2018 (which is mid-year, next school year) local levy money will not/cannot be used for basic education. Period. And districts will need to go to OSPI first and ask the state's permission to fund various activities for locally approved levies before they ask voters to support it.

Yet another commenter said this:

I feel like this could create a weird dynamic where schools are suddenly arguing that things are not basic education so they can fund them through local levy dollars. Thus, diminishing the states responsibility. I supposed this fear comes from the other fear that we may not have an actual working solution at the end of this session. Am I alone on this?  
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Levy Cliff Bill Passes:

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