The Legislature has recently taken incremental steps to improve the state’s special education funding gap by increasing support for safety net awards, transition services, professional development, and family liaisons.
RECOMMENDATION: Continue to increase funding to reach the actual cost of special education services currently borne at the local level.
We expect more from our schools than ever before. The way we staff schools needs to reflect an increased demand for student mental, social, emotional, and behavioral health, as well as safety.
RECOMMENDATION: Phase in updated staffing ratios to achieve more realistic state-funded staffing levels for counselors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, family engagement coordinators, and safety staff.
School district bonds require a super-majority vote to pass. And when they do pass, actual construction costs often exceed what schools can propose in their initiatives.
RECOMMENDATION: Allow citizens to approve bonds with a simple majority and update the funding formulas for the Construction Cost Allowance and Student Space Allocation to reflect actual construction costs and educational space needs.
The role of principal is increasingly demanding. Principals need adequate compensation and on-the-job support.
RECOMMENDATION: Expand “experience factor” eligibility, to further lessen inequities among school districts.
Our state’s new regionalization factor implemented through EHB 2242 in 2017, increases state funding to “property-rich” districts, and have again increased the disparity between districts.
RECOMMENDATION: Update the administrator salary allocation and prepare and support new administrators by increasing funding for administrative internship and mentorship programs.
This 2022 Legislative Platform was approved by the superintendents of the 44 public school districts and one tribal compact school served by Capital Region ESD 113.