How lawmakers fixed education spending...and didn’t
State lawmakers finally managed to pass a budget — in their third special session this year, no less — that addresses some of the problems with the public education system. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the new two-year operating budget last week that spends $350 million on smaller K-3 class sizes, a requirement of the state Supreme Court’s education funding order, and increases K-12 spending in other areas, including for all-day kindergarten and materials and supplies, The Seattle Times reports.
But the budget already has a $2 billion hole in it, because lawmakers were counting on delaying for four years the voter-approved Initiative 1351, which requires smaller class sizes. The delay is tied to a school testing reform bill that would remove a requirement that students pass a biology test or an approved alternative to graduate from high school, The Olympian reports.
So technically, the budget isn’t balanced, which isn’t legal. But it’s not clear how lawmakers will solve the problem.