“Washington State PTA (WSPTA) is very pleased with the direction of the Governor’s proposed two-year budget,” said Michelle Nims, president. “At the top of our priorities is increasing the staffing for student well-being, including additional nurses, social workers, behavioral health specialists, psychologists, and counselors. This budget starts with our highest needs districts and phases in for all districts in future budgets. That’s a great start and critical to the success of students across the state.”
In addition, Nims said WSPTA was pleased to see training for paraeducators, increased funding for career and technical education, money to address teacher shortages, and more dual language programs included in the spending plan. Several other proposals, such as the proposal to return to local levies as a percentage of a district’s budget, will require a deeper dive into details and implications for school districts and the students they serve.
“While we fully support the $1 billion for school construction assistance, we feel there is still work to do to change the outdated formulas that put more of a burden on local taxpayers to build schools. We would also like to see a second round of grants for schools to build more classrooms to meet smaller K-3 student ratios. When the legislature sets policy for all-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes, it needs to back up that policy with the funding to build the additional classrooms,” said Nims.
“We look forward to working with the Governor’s office and legislature to support initiatives that build on previous investments to improve school funding and student outcomes.”
WSPTAs 2019 legislative platform can be found here.
Washington State PTA’s vision is that every child’s potential becomes a reality. We accomplish this through our mission for PTA to be a powerful voice for children; a relevant resource for families, schools, and communities; and a strong advocate for the well-being and education of all children.