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2024 Legislative Platform

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Educator Compensation

Education Support Professionals (ESPs) have not shared in the post-McCleary investments, and as a result, their wages have fallen behind. PSE calls on the Legislature to prioritize targeted compensation increases for all K-12 education support professionals in the 2023-24 Supplemental Operating Budget.

Fully Fund Special Education

PSE calls on the Legislature to build on investments made in 2023 to fully fund special education and fully meet the educational needs of disabled students. PSE believes lawmakers ought to require school districts to report how they are allocating these new investments to increase student services, improve staffing ratios, increasing employee compensation and providing needed staff development.

The Legislature must also provide ample and relevant professional development to all ESPs who work with special needs students prior to any effort that limits or prohibits certain behavior interventions. In order to achieve systemic changes, lawmakers must require appropriate inclusion of paraeducators in all school district policy changes related to behavioral interventions.

Technical Change to Salary Allocation Model

The Prototypical School Funding Model currently includes lower-wage, front-line classified employees with higher-compensated, classified administrative employees in the same funding stream. This is problematic and creates a system where state salary allocations do not appropriately represent actual wages for paraeducators, school secretaries, and other school support staff. PSE proposes to separate the funding processes of these distinct employee groups to improve transparency and clarity in the budgeting process.

Basic Education Staffing Allocations

Washington’s public schools continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of students and communities. The State’s obligation to evolve its funding obligations must also adjust. PSE urges the Legislature to continue making progress toward increasing school staffing levels in the Prototypical School Funding Model as recommended by the 2019 Basic Education Compensation Advisory Committee.

School Facilities and Environmental Health

The Wahkiakum school construction lawsuit shined a light on the confusing nature of the state’s funding obligation for school buildings and facilities. The Legislature must provide more clarity to this process. School districts deserve to know what state dollars they are entitled to receive and at what funding level. PSE also joins other K-12 labor partners in calling for the Legislature for investments to upgrade school HVAC and filtration systems so that students have the best environment in which to learn.

Legislative Contacts:

Rick Chisa, Government Relations Director | (360) 791-6646 |
Rebecca Johnson, Contract Lobbyist | (360) 359-8872 |
Dylan O’Connor, Contract Lobbyist | (253) 970-9931 |