The Senate Republican Caucus released details about its Education Equality Act. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal on the proposal.
Olympia – Jan. 27, 2017 – We’re at a crossroad on education funding. The state Supreme Court has said the state isn’t meeting its Constitutional duty to amply fund basic education. We need solutions to this problem – big, bold solutions.
The Caucus’s proposal shows that Republicans are serious about solving the funding problem and that it understands additional resources will be needed.
The proposal itself is very comprehensive. It would create a guaranteed funding level for each and every student. The level would be enhanced for students in special programs, such as English learners or students in special education or those who are low-income or homeless, recognizing those students’ additional needs. That funding level would be paid for, in part, by a state property tax capped at $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value.
I appreciate the emphasis on accountability and on providing additional support for underachieving students. Our graduation rates are inching upward. That pace must quicken, though, and paying teachers supplemental contracts for their work with struggling students is one way to achieve that.
I also appreciate the emphasis on teacher recruitment and retention. We have a critical teacher shortage caused, in part, because all teachers need market pay.
In the coming weeks and months we will work with the House and Senate to create a bipartisan solution that improves student achievement, empowers educators and maximizes local control.