K-12 Funding: Building on a Shaky Foundation
1993 ushered in the birth of the World Wide Web at CERN, Beanie Babies, and the passage of Washington’s Education Reform Act. A lot has changed in education over the last 20 years. Our students are more diverse, and our educators are tasked with implementing multiple rigorous pathways for them to be successful in a quickly changing and increasingly demanding array of postsecondary opportunities.
But some things haven’t changed. We took closer look at the funding categories in the public schools operating budget in 1993 and 2013. It turns out that the foundation of the budget, General Apportionment, hasn’t kept pace with the rise in inflation or increase in student enrollment since 1993. Staff ratios, the main driver of general apportionment, are the same as they were 20 years ago except for K-12 classified staff, and this ratio actually went down one classified staff per Full Time Enrollment (FTE). Continue reading »
Partial Days and PD
One of the State Board of Education’s 2013 legislative priorities centers around strengthening the 180-day calendar.
With the loss of state professional development funding, many districts are adjusting their calendars, replacing full-day instruction with partial or half days. The use of half-days for professional development directly supports quality teaching, but comes at the cost of learning time for our students. In this video, Executive Ben Rarick provides an overview of the State Board of Education’s drive to reinstate statewide professional development funding in order to maximize instructional time. Continue reading »
K-12 Funding Update
Three interesting K-12 funding charts shown at a recent Senate hearing, and prepared by their staff. I’ve editorialized on the side with dialogue boxes.
The first illustrates an important point – just because nominal spending has increased over time (representing the upward trajectory of the bar graphs) does not mean K-12 programs have increased (in fact, the inverse is sometimes true, when the aging workforce makes it expensive just to keep the teaching staff we have) Basically, this chart shows that while there have been ebbs and flows, state funding has only managed to keep pace with inflation, and not much else. Continue reading »