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home : opinion : columnists November 24, 2015

1/23/2013 1:57:00 PM
Washington's per-student investment continues to decline
Submitted by Rich Wood Washington Education Associ

New numbers show per-student spending in Washington's K-12 public schools continues to drop compared to other states.

Adjusted for regional cost-differences, Washington now ranks 43rd in student spending. Only seven states invest less per child. The statistic, based on a new report from Education Week, shows Washington's ranking fell by one slot and that spending in Washington decreased by $184 per student from the previous report. The new numbers, which are from 2010, show Washington spends $2,679 less per student compared to the national average. Washington is one of only 19 states whose per-pupil funding declined year-over-year from 2009.

Over the last four years, the state has cut approximately $2.6 billion from the K-12 schools budget. When the 2013 legislative session starts Jan. 14, the Legislature must put children first and increase funding for our public schools as required by the McCleary decision and the state Constitution.

That requires reducing overcrowded class sizes and expanding all-day kindergarten.

"With smaller class sizes, I can focus more on individual students," said Wendy Smith, a high school teacher in the Evergreen School District near Vancouver.

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