Saturday, July 15, 2017

McCleary: Changes for teachers, students in new schools budget plan | The News Tribune

McCleary: Changes for teachers, students in new schools budget plan | The News Tribune:

What teachers and students get out of the state’s school overhaul

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Much of the discussion about Washington’s new K-12 school reform has focused on how it might affect taxpayers.
But the state’s plan to pour about $7.3 billion of new state money into public schools over the next four years will also bring big changes for teachers and students.
Among the changes planned: More money for special education, career and technical education and highly capable programs, and tutoring in high-poverty schools.
And, for teachers, a new minimum salary of $40,000 (up from $35,700), plus a mandatory 10 percent salary increase after five years on the job.
“This represents a huge change in how teachers are paid — probably the biggest change in 30 years,” said Rich Wood, a spokesman for the statewide teachers union, about the plan Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law earlier this month.
“There’s still more work to do, but certainly it is progress, no doubt about it.”
Overall, the state is significantly increasing what it pays to hire teachers and other school employees as part of its effort to comply with a court order to fix how it pays for schools.
In the McCleary case, the state Supreme Court said Washington needs to stop relying on local school district property tax levies to pay teachers, school administrators and classified staff.
For years, school districts have used their local levies to make up the difference between what the state pays and what it actually costs to hire teachers and other employees.
To help move the full cost of salaries to the state budget, the Legislature recently approved a new system that will allocate an average of at least $64,000 per teacher. Previously, the state allocated an average of about $54,000 per teacher.
The state also will give school districts a new average allocation of at least $95,000 per administrator and nearly $46,000 for classified staff — up from an average of $61,752 for administrators and $33,300 for classified staff under the old system.
Those minimum allocations will be increased for school districts in areas with high property values. Districts with home values that exceed the statewide average will get an extra 6 percent, 12 percent or 18 percent, depending on the cost of local real estate.
“The regional factor is really important, recognizing the fact that the cost of living is higher McCleary: Changes for teachers, students in new schools budget plan | The News Tribune:

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