WSSDA Testifies on Governor Inslee’s 2021-2023 Proposed Operating & Capital Budgets

Monday, January 11 was the kickoff of the 2021 legislative session. One of the first bills on the docket for public hearing was the Governor’s proposed Operating and Capital budgets for 2021-2023. The WSSDA Strategic Advocacy staff testified before the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Governor’s Proposed Operating Budget – Marissa Rathbone

“Chair Rolfes and Members of the Committee,

My name is Marissa Rathbone, and I am the Director of Strategic Advocacy with the Washington State School Directors’ Association representing the 1,477 locally-elected school board directors.
I’m here to testify in as other on SB 5092, the Governor’s proposed biennial operating budget. First, a sincere thank you to the Governor for designating funding for critical items such as:

  • accelerated learning/a response to learning loss;
  • counselors;
  • paraeducator training, and
  • connectivity enhancements.

As you are aware, school districts have faced one of the most challenging years in the history of the K-12 system. The need to respond urgently is clear and some of that need is addressed in the proposed operating budget; we encourage you to support those resources. There will also be a need to respond to the persisting issues that this pandemic has caused. This crisis hit suddenly, but the recovery may take years.

WSSDA members are concerned about, therefore signed in opposed to, the Governor’s proposed supplemental operating budget. It is impossible to absorb nearly $700 million in cuts while providing remote instruction and working toward in-person instruction. We ask that these funds be reinstated in the current school year so staff can address the emerging social and academic needs of our students, both now and for the school years to come.

WSSDA is hopeful to continue our work with you to stabilize funding in this and future years especially in the areas of transportation, enrollment, and local effort assistance.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.”

Governor’s Proposed Capital Budget – Logan Endres

“Vice Chair Frockt and Members of the Committee,

For the record, my name is Logan Endres, and I’m the Strategic Advocacy Coordinator for the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) representing the state’s 1,477 locally-elected school board directors.

I’m here today to testify in favor of the Governor’s proposed capital budget. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Governor specifically funding:

  • The School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP);
  • Small rural school district modernization grants;
  • Healthy kids, healthy schools grants;
  • Student health and safety;
  • and School seismic retrofitting programs.

We encourage you to support and fully fund these important school construction projects as the design and condition of schools influences student learning, health, and safety. WSSDA looks forward to working together on the capital budget with you this session.

Thank you.”

Use your voice

If you want to provide testimony as an individual, school board member, or on behalf of WSSDA, email WSSDA’s Director of Strategic Advocacy, Marissa Rathbone for more information.