Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Year of Cutbacks

This morning, Gov. Gregoire released her 2010 supplemental budget, designed to fill the state's $2.6 billion shortfall for the remainder of the 2009-11 biennium. Among her recommendations for K-12 cutbacks, Gregoire called for the elimination of the following in the 2010-11 school year:
  • Levy equalization assistance, which provides funds to "property poor districts" (for the 2011 calendar year)
  • Enhanced K-4 staffing ratios
  • Initiative 728 funding
  • State-subsidized all-day kindergarten
  • The one remaining state-funded Learning Improvement Day (LID)
  • Several K-12 grant programs, including Readiness to Learn, CTE and Reading Corps grants
  • The state's K-12 Highly Capable Program and associated professional development

In a letter to Washingtonians issued by the Office of the Governor this morning, Gregoire says she submitted the budget "with the greatest reluctance." "This document is not true to the values I believe in and which have guided me through a 30-year career in public service," she writes. "It is not a budget I can live with nor is it one I believe Washingtonians can live with."

So, what can she/we live with? Stay tuned for more proposals from the governor, including a new budget that she'll submit to the Legislature in January (and perhaps a tax package, too?).

To watch Gregoire's announcement, click here.

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