The Doran decision In the late offs found that Washington State was violating its constitutional law in not providing adequate funds to public education. The McCauley case took it further and argued that Washington State needs to do more than cover a percentage within a school budget but fully fund public education and real changes need to be made. These changes were the laws ESP. 2261 and GHB 2776 which required such things as lower class sizes, fully funded kindergarten and highly capable programs, increased credits for high school, increased instructional ours and new funding levels to be established by the 2018 school year.
As of December 2012 the findings were that the state was not making adequate progress towards making the 2018 deadline and that Inequities in funding still existed. This paper will examine the funding inequities in Washington State public education and identify both the impact and some possible alternative or solutions. The three main reasons contributing to funding Inequities that will be examined are; an overbalance on local funding, grandfathering of levy lids. And discrepancy in teacher salary dependent on school district.
Reliance on Local Funding Washington State provides the majority of public school education’s funding however there is an overbalance on local resources in the form of levies. If a levy is passed, It represents almost one-quarter of a total school tattlers budget. If a levy Is not passed then a school district is down 24% of their total budget and programs will have to be dropped from a school’s schedule. If a levy represents 24% of a school district’s budget then that is at a level that includes some basic education responsibilities that should be covered by the state.
Some of these things are allergies, transportation, counselors, textbooks and utilities (Budget and Policy Center, 2012). The levies are not dependable as a source of income as levies require a 50% voter approval and therefore are not dependable or reliable as a source of revenue, however are required to cover basic education costs. The Doran decision of the late II/Us salsa Tanat ten use AT local levels does not reduce ten state’s Dilation to Tuna public education.
This is the funding inequity at a general funding level and does not provide a fair playing field as some district have either not always been successful at assign levies and so the funds that are supposed to be for enhancements to the general education experience but actually used to fund basic education meets, cannot be met. This is an inequity to the students of areas that are unable to pass levies and therefore meet the demands to provide an adequate education to their students.
The impact of relying too much on local funding means that areas that are already lacking in resources continue to suffer and their students receive less in general. This creates a larger gap between the school districts who have resources and those who do not. This Matthew Effect will continue to exacerbate the gaps between the rich and the poor and an uneven playing field for our children in the education system. A possible alternative to combat funding to schools instead of an overbalance on local funding is creating a state income tax to raise revenue.
The addition of a state income tax could generate up to $700 million per year for the state of Washington. This could lessen the burden on local funding while still protecting the local control of our education system. Another solution could be to extend tax increases passed in 2010 that are set to retire which generate $630 million per year. Again, additional funding that could ease the burden of local funding. Grandfathering of Levy Lids As stated earlier, the failure of Seattle School District’s 1976 levy led to a court case and the Doran decision requiring the state to fully fund “basic education”.
This led to the 1977 Basic Education Act, which increased state support to schools and minimized local levy responsibility to around 10%. It was at this time that the Levy Lid Act was passed to limit the amount a district can raise through Maintenance and Operation (M) levies. Because some districts were already raising more than the 0%, these 90 school districts were allowed to continue at that higher rate and were grandfathered into the new Levy Lid Act.
This was the beginning of an inequity between school districts as every time a levy lid was increase (incrementally over the next 30 years) it meant that those original 90 districts continued to gain increases, in some cases up to almost 38%. An increase of a higher number will always result in a higher number. This disparity between richer and poorer districts continued to grow and exacerbated an already very large problem of the inequity of the funding in Washington State public education funding. The current rate to those not grandfathered is 24%.
The grandfathering meant that “property poor” districts in poorer areas needed to raise more money per household to meet their levy limits. For instance, in Toppings School District a property tax of $7. 97 per thousand is required to gain their 24% levy however in Bellevue only $. 64 per thousand is required to gain the same 24% levy. This discrepancy results in poorer school district residents less able to pass levies are residents are unable to afford to do so. Their property taxes are not only larger overall but also represent a larger portion of their verbal income.
Not passing the levies means that there are less resources per students Ana less resources overall to spend on students The impact of this means that in districts not grandfathered, have older texts, technology, larger class sizes, less supplemental pay, fewer specialists, counselors and assistants resulting in an overall lesser quality educational experience for those students. Unfortunately these students are already on the wrong side of the opportunity gap and the grandfathering of those 90 districts added to that already grim situation.
The largest impact is that those that need the most resources are ended access and the opportunity will continue to grow. The current solution to the grandfathering dilemma is the Levy Equalization Act, which is sometimes called “local effort assistance” (LEA) which gives the opportunity for districts to pass lower amount levies. The state gives a matching amount of 12% if districts can raise their own 12% levies. In addition to that, lowering the levy lid for ALL districts or making it mandatory that richer districts are paired with poorer to districts to share resources in a sister city effort.
This would give students an opportunity to work with other groups different than their own creating greater knowledge of their surrounding communities and a greater awareness of groups different than themselves. This would add to greater background knowledge in general for both groups of students and therefore increasing the ability to gain new knowledge in the future. Discrepancy of Teacher Salary in School Districts The districts that were already grandfathered with higher levy lids in the Basic Education Act were also able to pay higher Teacher Salaries within their school district.
The higher salaries for teachers meant that every time Washington State cheers were given a raise overall, these teachers gained a higher percentage increase. Likewise with the grandfathering of local levy lids, this created a further discrepancy in the amount that teachers were being paid in the richer school districts. This is a funding inequity because it contributes to a teacher’s ability to experience a positive working environment and stay within a Job, which results in greater ability to better their craft and not worry about other things.
Teachers in poorer districts experience a lesser quality experience because of it is harder to induct the business of teaching students when lower order things have to be taken into consideration such as a teacher’s ability to survive financially. This is important because the single most important factor that contributes to a student’s success within the school sphere is the teacher’s instruction. Teachers in poorer districts report battling to have basic supplies such as textbooks and technology therefore making it a struggle to give the students within those districts a quality education.
Teachers in poorer districts also report wanting to move to richer districts as it is less f a struggle to gain supplies and more energy can be spent creating quality lesson plans and give their students the education they know they need. The impact of having teachers in poorer districts being paid lower salaries overall means that there is higher turnover in the lower paid districts. The high turnover makes it harder to gain the momentum in a position, which occurs after an amount of tile In a position Walton a cocoons .
Nine Is rolls a t Tanat nave lesser-pal teachers also tend to attract newer teachers that are less experienced and result in a lesser quality experience for those students again resulting in the students who need a higher quality education not getting what they need. One solution currently in place is the federal teacher loan forgiveness being given to teachers who teach in schools that have a free and reduced lunch rate higher than 60% and teach in their chosen area of instruction.
However, they only have to serve five years and don’t have to teach in the same school over the five years. The also don’t have to even teach in the same school within the same school year. This doesn’t give the students the stability of teachers they need. Another possible solution could be that the state gives a stipend to teachers who work in schools of high rates of free and reduced lunch in addition to the federal teacher loan forgiveness program that dictates that teachers have to serve a minimum of two years in the same school.
When they reach two years in the same high poverty school they receive the stipend. Teachers are able to do this up to six years in a row leading to a total amount of three times the two-year rate. This would give the students who need stability and quality instruction the most a better quality educational experience. Conclusion The funding inequities in Washington State educational funding have resulted in huge inequities to the students of Washington State overall.
The ‘Matthew Effect’, which explains that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, should not be present in the educational realm. Every student deserves to experience “the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste or sex. ” The three main inequities identified are; an overbalance on local unending, grandfathering of levy lids, and discrepancy in teacher salary dependent on school district.
The main solutions or alternatives identified are; greater state contribution through a state income tax, capping of local levy lids and an expectation that richer districts be paired with poorer districts to share resources, and a state stipend for teachers to stay and teach in poorer schools creating stability for the students who need it the most. Education funding is a complex issue and only through state intervening financially will result in the true “paramount duty’ being fulfilled.