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In the final hour, Legislature passes bill to improve local school levy flexibility!

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The Legislature has approved legislation that improves local school levy flexibility – a major legislative victory that gives school districts the ability to continue meeting their students’ needs beyond state-funded basic education.

Senate Bill 5313 will provide millions in much-needed funding to support K-12 students, funding that will help school districts avoid projected cuts in student services and support. School levies are approved by local voters and remain an important part of school funding in Washington. Levies fund additional teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, art, music and other student needs

Restoring school levy flexibility was a top WEA priority throughout the 2019 legislative session. Legislators approved the bill at nearly midnight on April 28, the last day of the legislative session.

WEA members sent their state legislators more than 14,000 emails, made hundreds of phone calls and ran a major radio and social media campaign about the importance of levy funding about levies.

The levy legislation was needed because two years ago legislators voted to dramatically restrict how much school districts could collect from local levies. WEA opposed the levy cuts at the time.

Lawmakers passed multiple versions of levy legislation prior to the final version, which does not include funding for privately operated charter schools. The Legislature also approved a new state budget that increases special education funding and funds the new state-run health care system for K-12 employees.

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