Funding & Accountability

We must provide ample funding for a world-class K-12 system and create accountability systems to track resources and student success.

Despite our constitution’s declaration that education is the “paramount duty”
of our state, Washington ranks 49th out of 50 states in spending for public K-12 schools relative to individual income.1 If we truly are committed to providing each student in our state with a world-class education, we must invest more in our education system. The Washington State Supreme Court agrees. In its 2012 McCleary v. Washington ruling, the court found that the state is not fulfilling its constitutional duty to fund basic education, and required the legislature to take action.

While working to increase funding, the state must also be accountable for creating effective systems and increasing access to data. Improved data systems should allow the tracking of student progress and changes in opportunity and achievement gaps. We must have the data to know that we are investing our state’s resources wisely so that our students get the competitive and effective education they need to excel.

A way forward
  • Create ample, equitable, and stable funding sources for education.
  • Increase the state contribution to basic education funding and decrease the reliance on local levies.
  • Continue the development and implementation of a meaningful achievement and accountability index to track schools’ progress.
  • Support the continued development of an effective data reporting system.
  1. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Public School Finance Data []