OLYMPIA…The Senate, on Wednesday night, voted to extend a temporary increase of local school-levy authority, but only after including important reforms that would force school districts to closely account for locally generated dollars to ensure they are not used for basic-education expenses.
Sen. Mark Miloscia said the passage of Senate Bill 5023 is in keeping with the levy-authority provision contained in the Education Equality Act passed Feb. 1 by the Senate.
“Passing this bill will provide Federal Way School District with financial certainty as the legislature negotiates a plan to fully fund basic education. But let’s be clear, Washington students deserve a comprehensive solution that provides a world-class education system. I’m encouraged that our colleagues across the aisle agreed to move toward our position of improving accountability and oversight.
“The accountability measures included in this bill will help us determine how much state and local money is spent on basic education and ensure that our school districts are not relying on local tax levies to pay for state responsibilities. This will also help the legislature make future funding decisions so that we can direct money to the places they are needed the most.
“We can now move forward with strengthened accountability and focus on the real job of passing a strong bi-partisan education solution for our students. We still have a lot of work to do to pass a plan that is equitable plan that prioritizes students, but this is an important first step.”