Understand the consequences of underfunded K-12 students

BEF — Issues on the table

The Education Funding Issues of BEF (a.k.a. BEFTF)

Insights into the many issues and their intertwined relationships can be gained from reviewing the proposals submitted to the BEF committee, and the guidelines BEF has put forth from which to view them. These are at the heart of the committee’s second mandate — develop funding structures to deliver fair and accountable financial systems that align with existing laws and current goals

Guiding Principles By BEF Presented at the June 2008 BEF Meeting

First Stakeholder's Principles:

1. The state is responsible for providing every student reasonable opportunities to meet the state’s high school graduation requirements

2. The new finance system is organized to drive improvements in student achievement
The funding responsibilities of the state and local school districts are clearly delineated and separated

3. Local decision makers are given flexibility to determine the best use of money while being held accountable for results

4. Revenue distribution is simplified and school budgets are transparent

Second Stakeholder’s Principles:

1. Redefine basic education to include all expectations, goals, requirements, practices, and policies included in state and federal legislation, rules, and regulations.

2. Create a K-12 Finance system that provides revenue sufficient for schools to address all basic education requirements.

3. Shift the focus of state school funding accountability from program compliance to student performance, from fiscal inputs to student outcomes.

4. Design new formulas and state allocation targeted to the identified needs of individual students and schools.

5. Distinguish more clearly between local levies and state basic education funding.

6. Conceive of accountability as a two-way street.

7. Review funding formulas to determine their rationality and currency, and develop new formulas on a rational need basis.

8. Adapt and evolve the definition of basic education over time based on change in state expectations.

9. Determine employee compensation allocation rationally and systematically.

10. Design state and local fiscal practices so that they are consistent, transparent, and efficient.

What Are Funding Issues Really All About? Compare the Funding Topics & Their Various Factors

Several themes recur through the funding topics, and within the proposals BEF requested from education stakeholders.

To really understand the funding problems, one has to understand the components of the funding mechanisms and equations — there are many moving parts to the cogs that drive the wheels.

1)  The WA State Board of Education assembled a table of the major components from proposals by major stakeholders to the BEF Joint Task Force, comparing approaches to similar parts.

2)  Barb Billinghurst examined the major proposals to consolidate and compare the recurring elements, but highlighted more details of specifics points in each proposal.

Billinghurst identified and compared 5 such topics to-date:

¨ General Funding Principles: proposals from OSPI, LEV, FCC.

¨ Definition of Basic Education: proposals from  OSPI, LEV, FCC.

¨ Compensation for Certificated Instructional Staff (teachers, counselors, specialists, etc.): proposals from  OSPI, LEV, FCC.

¨ Certificated Instructional Staff Ratios: proposals from  OSPI, Picas & Oden, FCC.

¨ Accountability: proposals from  OSPI, LEV, FCC.

Two additional components, including classified staff and Nonemployee-related costs (NERCS)), may still yet be similarly compared, plus other components.

Reports By Stakeholders Presented at the June BEF Meeting

League of Ed Voter’s June report to BEF—”A Way Forward” report offers proposals to transform ed finance and drive gains in student achievement; their accompanying “A Way Forward PowerPoint Slideshow”.

WASSDA’s Report: “Attaining a World Class K-12 System: Aligning Washington’s Funding Structure with

21st Century Educational Expectations”.


· 2008-05 OSPI School Report: K-12 Financial Outlook: Why Are District Finance Problems and Looming Cuts Deeper and More Widespread Than In Recent Years?



Issues Being Discussed By The Basic Education Task Force, Plus Selected Estimated Costs Per Biennium Budget

Legislators have been floating some of the specific proposals, and their estimated associated cost.

Some of those are:

 - TBD

Funding Washington Schools

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