The Republican-led Senate Majority Coalition Caucus released it education funding plan on Friday. It modifies how schools are funded and teachers are paid.
The plan would cap property tax levy rates and move to a per-student model of school funding, similar to the funding system used in Massachusetts. The state would pay at least $12,500 for each student, said Sen. John Braun, R- Centralia and lead budget writer.
The plan would shift how state and local property tax levies are used to pay for K-12 education. Instead of variable property tax rates in each district, there would be a flat statewide property tax levy of $1.80 per $1,000 in assessed value. That would raise about $2 billion per year, while eliminating about $2.4 billion collected annually from the current variable property tax rates in different districts.
Braun said he intends to find $1.4 billion in the budget without raising taxes to add to education, on top of the $2 billion raised through the local effort school levies. That's in contrast to plans from Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative Democrats, who propose billions in new taxes on carbon, capital gains, service-sector businesses and others.
The plan is “a fair and clean way to do what we had to do to fix this problem,” said Braun. The plan includes a referendum clause, which requires voter approval for implementation. The News Tribune has more.
By 2020, school districts could enact new local levies at lower rates, but those funds could only be spent on programs outside of basic education.
New teachers would see a raise to $45,000 a year. Top teachers would earn bonuses.
The plan meets an AWB priority, which is support for career and technical education.
The Seattle Times has more on the story.
The education funding bill was heard this afternoon in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
For more, contact AWB's government affairs team: Amy Anderson for education issues and Eric Lohnes for tax and fiscal policy.
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