1. Fund the Promised Increases in Public School Counselors, Librarians, Nurses, and Social Workers; K-12 Class-Size Reductions, and Increased Educator Salaries from New Progressive Tax Sources
• WPD calls on the Legislature to fully fund the voters’ mandate for counselors, librarians, nurses, social workers, and K-12 class-size reductions with new, progressive, and sustainable revenue such as a capital gains tax and closing large corporate tax loopholes. Initiative 1351 defined these items as part of “basic education.”
• WPD supports the Legislature funding the salary allocations necessary to hire and retain qualified educators as a part of the program of basic education.
2. Fund the True Costs of Special Education with New Progressive Tax Sources
• WPD calls on the Legislature to fund the actual, complete costs of special education with new, progressive, and sustainable revenue such as a capital gains tax and closing large corporate tax loopholes.
3. Eliminate Inequities Between Districts and Schools and Provide The Funding Public Schools Actually Need to Provide Every Child a Great Education
• WPD supports amply and equitably funding basic education at levels that are necessary to close the opportunity gap and ensure success for every student in every district.
• WPD supports expanded eligibility for High Poverty Local Assistance Program (LAP) dollars so more schools qualify. Current rules encourage districts to concentrate poverty at schools in order to receive LAP funds.
4. Help Funding for School Capital and Construction Catch Up with Needs
• WPD urges the Legislature to pass a capital budget with increased construction matching funds. More funding and an updated formula for matching funds are both needed for new and renovated buildings to ensure that every school building is safe, not overcrowded, and seismically sound.
• WPD supports a state constitution amendment to allow a simple majority for school bonds. School bonds currently require a 60% supermajority to pass, not a simple majority of 50%. From 2011-2017, 94 school districts lost bond votes that passed with majorities between 50-60%.
5. Prevent the $1.1 billion in school cuts caused by the Jan. 2019 levy cliff.
• Short-term fix – raise the levy cap
• Long-term fix – shift to invest more from state funding with new progressive revenues so school districts don’t have to rely as much on local levies.