For most school districts across Washington state this upcoming school year will be the start of budget rebuilding after consecutive years of cuts.
The relief comes in part from an additional $955 million in state funds for the 2013-2015 school years.
The increased funding stems from a State Supreme Court ruling that the state wasn t meeting its paramount duty to fully fund education. That decision, McCleary v. Washington, gave the state until 2018 to fix the problem.
State money is designated for expenses like full-day Kindergarten, lower class sizes, full funding of transportation, supplies and overhead, and increased levels of staffing and compensation. The money is distributed based on head count and income level.
Some districts are still sorting out how all of the money will be spent.
In Kent, Chief Business Officer Dr. Richard Stedry said the district may not be able to claim all of its $16.8 million because part of the new funds are to decrease class size, but there is no additional space for students to go.
Even though the money is there, we may not be able to use it all or use any of it this year, says Stedry. We'll have to see how this all works out. It s a kind of rebuilding process.
To see how much money your district will receive this year, a full list is here.
For a complete breakdown of fund distribution click here.