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Inslee Issues Reprieve For School Levies

March 16th, 2017 - 10:00 am

OLYMPIA - Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that delays a planned cut in local school levy rates for one year, something school districts have said they need in order to plan their budgets as lawmakers continue to work toward fully funding education in the state.

After signing the bill on Wednesday, Inslee said that now that this temporary measure is off his desk, lawmakers can focus on the task ahead: complying with a 2012 state Supreme Court ruling that they must fully fund the state's basic education system.

Doctor Marc Jackson, the Superintendent for the Port Angeles School District spoke with KONP about the effect this legal measure.

Lawmakers have already put more than $2 billion toward the issue since the ruling, but the biggest piece remaining of the court order is figuring out how much the state must provide for teacher salaries.

Jackson said that people should not confuse the use of levies with compensation for teachers.

We asked Jackson if he thinks this temporary reprieve for levies will allow the legislature to finally get the McCleary issue settled.

In February, voters in the Port Angeles School District approved renewal of a operations levy. That measure passed with a 69 percent yes vote, and will bring in 9.1 million dollars a year over four years and cover 22 percent of the district's operational revenues.

The McCleary decision was finalized by the State Supreme Court and stipulates that the state must adequately fund K-12 education.
In 2014, the state was held in contempt for not implementing McCleary and was fined with a penalty of $100,000 per day.

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