By Cynthia Wisdom
Senate Bill 6195 and House Bill 2366 were to create a Basic Education Obligation- Task Force to study the funding of basic education at the school district level. The goal is to ensure that basic education is being funded by the legislator as described in our state constitution:
Basic Education. The Washington State Constitution provides:
“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.”
The Washington Supreme Court has interpreted this to mean that the legislature must define an instructional program of basic education for public schools and amply fund it from a regular and dependable source.
Currently many school districts are using local levies to fund teachers’ salaries. The legislature would like to eliminate that reliance on levies since this is an obligation of the state under the state constitution. This bill was approved by the senate on 2/16/16 and signed by the Governor on 2/29/16.