State Budget Does Not Fully Fund Basic Education
Washington State needs to increase its funding for public schools in fiscal year 2019 by about $6.5 billion over the budgeted amount if it seeks to fully fund basic education and comply with the deadline set by the McCleary Court order.
The total state spending on public schools in fiscal year 2019 should be about $18.5 billion.
This amount equates to an average state funding per student of $17,075.
This recommendation is based on an analysis of the education budget signed into law by Governor Inslee on June 30 and detailed in SSB 5883 and HB 2242. I compared the State’s education budget for FY 2019 to the State’s Current (FY 2017) funding plan and to the one I developed based on studies required by the state legislature and subsequently completed or overseen by the Quality Education Council (QEC) and/or the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The resulting plan is termed the QEC-Fully Funded plan for FY 2019.
Yes, $18.5 billion is a whopping, big amount. But, the QEC Fully-Funded FY 2019 Plan shows the results of BOTH the QEC-recommended staffing & resource levels AND the QEC-recommended staff salaries. I know of no other full-funding analysis that shows the impact of BOTH recommended features.
To compare the substantial differences in how the three Funding Plans staff schools, pay for resources and allocate salaries, go to Full-Funding Study: Staff, Resources & Salaries.
The state-wide funding results of this comparative analysis are shown in the table below. As indicated, full funding of education in FY 2019 as called for by QEC is about $18.46 billion – about $6.48 billion more than the $11.98 billion the state plan budgeted for FY 2019. About double the current state FY 2017 budget for public schools
The QEC plan is used as a comparative benchmark because it is based on the most recent and most comprehensive cost estimates of educating students in our state. Furthermore, the QEC studies were requested by the state legislature and managed by state education officials.
Based on this analysis and comparison, I can say with confidence that, without the additional state funds, the State’s education budget for fiscal year 2019 is NOT ample enough to meet the state’s paramount duty by September 2018 as required by the state’s Supreme Court.
HOME Next: Too Little for Poor Students and Others
 Why Only State Funds, Not Federal or Local Funds, Can Close the Gap
 $17,075 per Student is a Reasonable State Average in School Year 2018-19: Here’s Why
 Quality Education Council and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction studies used as sources for developing the QEC-Full Funding model.
 Discussion of Using QEC Cost Estimates as Benchmarks