Inslee signs first bill of the session, ensures continued bipartisan collaboration on education funding

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OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today signed his first bill of the 2016 session, a bill ensuring continued bipartisan collaboration on full funding for basic education. E2SSB 6195 creates the Education Funding Task Force, composed of eight legislators and one nonvoting facilitator from the governor’s office.

“The Legislature has continually made progress on fully funding education, and this bill is the next necessary step in that process,” Inslee said. “In the past three years, we’ve worked on a bipartisan basis to make historic new investments in basic education, including all-day kindergarten across the state, smaller class sizes in grades K through 3, and full funding for student transportation and our schools’ costs for supplies and operations. In addition to those big steps, the Supreme Court has wanted a plan for the next steps.”

“This will recommit that the Legislature is ready in 2017 to live up to these commitments to fulfill our constitutional obligations to fund education,” Inslee continued.

”The next step before us is arguably the most complex, and I am confident the Legislature is up to the task. This bill keeps legislators moving forward and provides information needed to help complete the task. “

The legislation:

  • Commits the Legislature to a plan that will eliminate dependence on local levies for the state’s program of basic education by the end of the 2017 legislative session;
  • Charges the task force with making recommendations to the Legislature about competitive compensation for school employees and about programs to help districts recruit and retain teachers;
  • Requires that the state’s program of basic education be clarified and ways identified to ensure that local funds will be used only to provide enrichment beyond basic education;
  • Directs the task force to determine whether additional legislation is needed to ensure all-day kindergarten and lower K-3 class sizes are possible in every elementary school in the state; and
  • Directs the task force to recommend sources of state revenue to support Washington’s program of basic education.

The bill’s prime sponsors are Sens. Rivers and Rolfes. Sponsors of the companion bill in the House are Reps. Lytton and Magendanz.

Media Contacts

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office