2017 Legislative Agenda

Seattle Public Schools Legislative Agenda 2017

Seattle has three priorities for this session:

  • Fully Fund McCleary by Providing Ample and Sustainable Funding for K-12
  • Fund Capital Projects and Remove Barriers to Address Capacity Needs
  • Eliminate the Opportunity Gaps

Fully Fund McCleary by Providing Ample and Sustainable Funding for K-12

Provide for the True Cost of Competitive Salaries to Attract and Retain Staff

  • Create an equitable and sustainable statewide compensation system.

In any Levy Reform Do No Net Harm to Seattle Levies

  • Levies currently support salaries, athletics, special education and unfunded state mandates.
  • Take early action during the 2017 Legislative Session on at least a partial funding package to ensure the impacts of any reduction in levy funding is mitigated prior to SPS developing its 2017-18 school year budget (i.e. Fix the Levy Cliff in order to avoid early and unnecessary reductions in force (RIFs) of teachers and other staff).
  • With any levy reform, allow voters to support non-basic education activities.

Fund Capital Projects and Remove Barriers to Address Capacity Needs

Update the State’s Antiquated School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP), which provides state financial assistance for qualifying major construction projects. The current state school construction formula fails to recognize unique issues for school districts and needs to be adjusted to differentiate between instructional vs. non-instructional space, benefiting those districts that have older facilities.

Provide Directed Capital Funding to Reopen and Upgrade Closed Facilities to address areas where enrollment is growing faster than the capital levy schedule can accommodate.

Allow School Districts to Have Parity with Higher Education Institutions Regarding Local Landmarking Ordinances. With 33 of SPS’s 98 school buildings landmarked, the district is challenged to respond to growing enrollment and class size reduction. The restrictions have hampered the ability to efficiently use space and maximize learning environments for students.

Eliminate the Opportunity Gaps

Help Eliminate the Opportunity Gaps, Including Supporting Legislation which Identifies a Source of Funding.

  • Fund measures to promote district strategies for equitable outcomes

Address Fair and Equitable Assessment

  • Adopt an alternative summative assessment framework to allow use of assessments other than Smarter Balanced Assessments.

Ensure Quality Teachers in Every Classroom

  • Provide alternative routes for substitute certification.
  • Amply fund professional development to implement Washington State Standards (i.e., College and Career Readiness or Common Core standards).
  • Continue to provide Teacher/Principal Evaluation Program (TPEP) professional development funding to ensure teachers and principals are calibrated around teaching and leadership standards.

Summation

Fully fund McCleary, including ample funding for: salaries; capital cost of class size reduction; and non-detrimental levy reform. Good teaching, fair salaries, adequate classrooms and class sizes are all needed to close opportunity gaps for our neediest learners and are in the best interests of all of our students.

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