State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says he is "relatively pleased" with how education fared during this year's legislative session.
Source: OSPI news release:
Late Monday night, the state Legislature passed a supplemental budget for 2010-11. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the impact of the budget on K-12 education:
This year, the state Legislature was faced with $2.8 billion in cuts, which came after two straight years of tough budgets. I knew there would be few if any winners - only survivors. With that in mind, I'm relatively pleased at how education fared. We not only survived, but we actually won on some issues.
Despite our state's recession, major education bills passed: Race to the Top (E2SSB 6696), the Quality Education Council recommendations (SHB 2776) and the dropout reengagement system (E2SHB 1418). Those bills will help guide education reform in the years to come. In addition, a civil rights bill (E2SHB 3026) is a bold step in ensuring that all students have the same basic rights.
The supplemental budget looks into the future as well. Funding is provided to begin work on a new pupil transportation system and to alter our funding system. Both are key elements in our ability to move ahead on ESHB 2261, passed in 2009, which calls for a new education funding formula by 2018.
I'm also pleased that the Legislature largely kept intact funding for class sizes in early grades. For many years, the Legislature has added teachers to classes in those grades beyond state law requirements. The Legislature understood that these enhancements are necessary to prevent overcrowding in our classrooms.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. The hard work that the Legislature did this session has made much of that work possible.