Protecting historic investments and reforms in K-12 education

The Legislature has made historic investments in K-12 education over the last five years, coinciding with the inception of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus in the 2013 legislative session. Democrats, including Gov. Jay Inslee, have candidly acknowledged that they did not prioritize K-12 education spending over the years, including when last held majorities in both the House and Senate. In their own words:

“Remember, even when we had supermajorities, did we fully fund education?” she asked, as the crowd answered in the negative. “And that has to change.”
– Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski | The Seattle Times | Jan. 28, 2017

“It’s time to end the 30 years of underfunding education.”
– Governor Jay Inslee | news conference | Dec. 13, 2016

“For decades, the state has underfunded education.”
– House Democrats | news release | Jan. 23, 2017

Democrats regained control of the Senate and Legislature at the end of 2017. As Republicans, we will hold them accountable for their budget decisions. This includes protecting hard-fought, bipartisan investments and reforms in K-12 education. Here is a snapshot of some these investments and what they will mean for our students and teachers:

Total money spent on K-12 education

  • In the 2011-13 budget cycle, the state spent $13.4 billion on K-12 education. This budget cycle (2017-19), our state will spend $22 billion. That number jumps to $26.5 billion in the 2019-21 budget cycle.
    • Our state will nearly double what it spends on K-12 education over a ten-year period.

Percent of the budget

  • In the 2011-13 budget cycle, K-12 education spending represented 43% of the budget. In the 2019-21 budget cycle, this number is projected to grow to 53%.

Per-pupil spending

  • In the 2011-12 school year, our state spent $6,639 per pupil for K-12. In the 2019-20 school year, that number is projected to be $11,996.
    • Our state’s per-pupil spending will increase by $5,357 over an eight-year period.

High-poverty students

  • Spending for high-poverty students will more than triple from the 2011-12 school year compared to the 2019-20 school year.

Materials, books and supplies

  • The per-pupil allocation for materials, books and supplies increased by $702 from the 2011-12 school year ($542) to the 2017-18 school year ($1,244).

Teacher pay

  • In the 2019-20 school year, the average state salary allocation will be as follows:
    • Teachers: $72,694                           ($20,264/39%  increase since 2012 McCleary decision)
    • Administrators: $107,354             ($51,108/91%  increase since 2012 McCleary decision)
    • Classified: $51,935                           ($20,675/66%  increase since 2012 McCleary decision)

New classroom teachers

  • There were more classroom teachers added in the last four years than the prior 12 years combined.

Full-day kindergarten

  • For the first time in state history, in the 2016-17 school year parents had the opportunity to enroll their children in full-day kindergarten if they chose to do so. This policy was enacted one year early. In the 2012-13 school year, the state essentially only funded half-day kindergarten.

Special education

  • In the 2011-12 school year, our state spent $10,857 per pupil for special education funding. In the 2019-20 school year, that number is projected to be $17,768.
    • Our state’s per-pupil spending for special education will increase by $6,911 (64%) over an eight-year period.