Whereas, the state’s constitution and certain court decisions and legislative acts have provided a strong and enduring foundation for the state’s K-12 public education system; and
Whereas, the state constitution provides that:
- “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders…” (Article IX, Section 1); and
- “The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools. …” (Article IX, Section 2); and
- The legislature is required to define “basic education” and provide ample funding for it from regular and dependable tax sources. School Funding I
- Programs considered basic education are Regular Apportionment, Vocational Education, Special Education, Pupil Transportation, Transitional Bilingual Education, Learning Assistance, and Institutional Education. School Funding II
- The legislature is “required to continually review, evaluate, and revise, if necessary, the educational system of the state and the program of education and its funding to meet the current needs of the children of the state.” School Funding II
- Once the legislature has established what is considered 100 percent funding of basic education needs, it cannot reduce that funding level due to state revenue problems. School Funding II
- The legislature may not use special excess levies to fund basic education; although such levies may be used to fund enrichment programs. School Funding I; and
- “Basic Education” in terms of broad educational goals, and specified minimum hours, days and instructional programs that school districts were required to offer; and
- State funding formulae consisting of staff-per-student ratios, and
- Read with comprehension, write with skill, and communicate effectively and responsibly in a variety of ways and settings;
- Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical, and life sciences; civics and history; geography; art; and health and fitness;
- Think analytically, logically, and creatively, and to integrate experience and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems; and
- Understand the importance of work and how performance, effort, and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities; and
Whereas, the Washington State PTA believes that the 1993 Education Reform Act’s four basic education goals together with the Essential Academic Learning Requirements and the Grade Level Expectations redefined basic education and provided a solid foundation for an updated program of basic education; and
Whereas, despite the court ruling in the Washington State Supreme Court in 2012, the Legislature has not implemented the new funding structure to ensure that it fully funds the state’s basic education programs, including current developments in educational requirements and challenges of the future; and
Whereas, funding is still lacking despite the 2009 Legislature’s passage of HB2261 to redefine the state’s education system ensuring the intention to fully fund the state’s basic education programs, such as adopting the prototypical schools funding model, establishing that programs shall be fully funded by the 2018-19 school year, establishing a new funding formula for pupil transportation, to begin during or before 2013, and creating a roadmap for work groups to define the details of the funding formulas; therefore, be it
Whereas, in 2009 the legislature adopted a new basic education funding formula based on a prototypical school funding model that includes small K-3 class sizes and staff mixes for elementary, middle and high school; established a new funding formula for student transportation; created workgroups to define funding details for levies, levy equalization and salary models; and broadened the definition of basic education to include the categorical programs of highly capable, special education, transitional bilingual and learning assistance; and changed the program of instruction to include full-day kindergarten, an additional 80 hours of instruction in grades 7-12, and the opportunity for all students to complete the 24-credit career- and college-aligned graduation requirements;[i] and
Whereas, despite the 2012 Supreme Court decision in the McCleary case that said the state was not amply providing for the education of all children but that reform passed in 2009 (ESHB 2261) would satisfy the court, the legislature continues to delay implementation of the funding structure it designed to ensure full funding of the program of basic education, including educational requirements and challenges of the future;[ii]and
Whereas, funding is still lacking, despite legislative intent declared in 2009 (ESHB 2261) and 2010 (SHB 2776) that redefined the program of basic education and funding so it would be fully implemented by 2018, and despite the court order in 2012 that it be funded by 2018.
Therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Washington State PTA urges the legislature to review implementation of the revised basic education funding formula to ensure that it fully funds the definition of basic education created in 2009 and gives all children the opportunity to complete the 24-credit career- and college-aligned graduation requirements by 2018.[iii]
Resolved, that the Washington State PTA support revisions to the basic education funding formulas that are clear and transparent to taxpayers, allowing them to understand how funding is tied to the costs of educating different types of students, and all students; and be it further
Resolved, that the Washington State PTA supports regular and timely revision of the state’s education programs and funding systems, including the basic education funding formulas.[iv]
Resolution Submitted by: Ramona Hattendorf, McClure Middle PTSA 6.15.430
Summary of proposal to revise 18.5, Funding Basic Education:
This proposal corrects and clarifies the status of the state’s program of basic education and changes made in 2009 and reinstates key aspects of what Washington State PTA endorsed in the pre-May 2013 version of this resolution -- that is, that all students need access to a comprehensive and enriching educational program that prepares them for career and college and that basic education needs to cover the staffing, instructional time and all other maintenance, operating and transportation costs associated with giving all students the opportunity to meet grade-level learning standards as well as the opportunity to complete 24-credit high school requirements aligned to career and college expectations.
This proposal deletes two “Whereas” statements and adds in three new ones. The new “Whereas” statements in this proposed revision better capture the scope of legislative changes made in 2009, and better assert the need to stay engaged to ensure the program of basic education reflects and meets evolving needs of our increasingly divergent student population.
This proposal also deletes two “Therefore” statements and adds two new ones. This was done to accurately reflect the status of what remain to be done while maintaining ongoing support for the work underway.
This proposal adds 2 footnotes to document the work of the basic education finance task force and to document the 2012 McCleary court decision.
Rationale to revise 18.5, Funding Basic Education:
Resolution 18.5 is unique in that it documents the legal evolution of the “program of basic education” and captures the advocacy around what Washington State PTA would like to see funded as part of “basic education.” This proposal better summarizes the status of both and will better inform advocates going forward.
As amended in May 2013, the revised “Whereas section” inadequately summarized 2009 legislation (ESHB 2261) that redefined the state’s program of basic education. This left readers of the resolution both with a misguided notion of what happened in 2009, and the impression that WSPTA is satisfied with the earlier 1993 version of basic education. Dropped were references to advocacy around learning expectations and outcomes.
For decades, WSPTA has advocated for a basic education that better prepared all students for college and career, as evidenced in the pre-May 2013 version of this resolution and in our top legislative priority since at least 2005.
The 2009 legislation was complex, but among other additions it asserted all children should have the opportunity to complete 24-credit graduation requirements aligned with career and college readiness. Despite being included in ESHB 2261, these requirements have repeatedly come under attack in the legislature and the requirements remain on hold. It is premature to delete reference to them from this resolution.
 School Funding I, Seattle School District v. State, 90 Wn. 2d, 476 (1978)
 School Funding II, Seattle School District, et al. v. State, Thurston County 81-2-1713-1 (1983)
 Regular Apportionment pays for the instructional, classified, and administrative staff and all nonemployee-related costs for facility and classroom supplies and equipment associated with regular education.
The Education Reform Act also called for specification of the knowledge and the academic and technical skills in eight content areas: reading, mathematics, science, writing, communication, social studies, arts, and health and fitness. These academic standards are called the state’s Essential Academic Learning Requirements.
ESHB 2261 resulted from the work of the Joint Task Force on Basic Education, formed in 2007. That task force filed its final report in January 2009. In its 2012 McCleary decision, the state supreme court accepted this work as a legislative review of the cost of basic education.
Key findings from the 2012 McCleary v State of Washington Supreme Court ruling: “The word “ample” in article IX, section 1 provides a broad constitutional guideline meaning fully, sufficient, and considerably more than just adequate. … Ample funding for basic education must be accomplished by means of dependable and regular tax sources. … “The State has not complied with its article IX, section 1 duty to make ample provision for the education of all children in Washington…. The legislature recently enacted a promising reform package under ESHB 2261, 61st Leg., Reg. Sess. (Wash. 2009), which if fully funded, will remedy deficiencies in the K-12 funding system.”
References and sourcing for changes made to “Whereas” section:
[i]Source: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bills/Session%20Laws/House/2261-S.SL.pdf. Session law, ESHB 2261, 2009
[ii]Source: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/843627.opn.pdf. McCleary v State of Washington. January 2012;
Source:http://www.leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/WM/Documents/Report%20to%20Supreme%20Court%20with%20Date%20Stamped%20Cover%20Letter.pdf. 2012 report to the Washington State Supreme Court by the Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation. September 2012
[iii]Source: http://www.leg.wa.gov/JointCommittees/AIXLJSC/Documents/August27_2013/ArticleIX2013Report-AdoptedAsAmended8-27-13.pdf. 2013 report to the Washington State Supreme Court by the Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation. Aug. 2013.
Source: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/843627.opn.pdf. McCleary v State of Washington. January 2012
[iv]Note: Brings “Resolved” wording up to date. The legislature created the Quality Education Council (as part of 2009 reform). WSPTA no longer has to call on its creation, but the association should continue to voice support for ongoing review, to stay true to earlier versions of this resolution.