WA SPI Says Legislature Made Progress in Special Ed, Meal Funding
With the WA State legislature ending its session this weekend, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kris Reykdal says a lot of progress was made for education.
State ups special needs, meal spending
According to the OSPI, two bills set aside a lot more funding for school projects:
"Through House Bill 1436, the Legislature made significant changes to the funding model for special education, bringing the state closer to full funding."
"Through House Bill 1238, the Legislature made progress on OSPI’s request by phasing-in universal meals at public schools who serve students in grades K–4 with certain percentages of students who are identified as low-income (in eligible schools, all students would have access to free meals,..."
The school meal programs will be phased in, starting with the 23-24 school year. Schools that have 40% or more students K-4 who qualify for free or reduced meals will receive free breakfast or lunch if requested by the student. For the 24-25 school year, schools with 30% percent of students who qualify for reduced food will be added.
Additional funding will expand this program to upper grades as well.
The OSPI also said funds were set aside to help smaller districts:
"The Small District Modernization Program helps school districts with fewer than 1,000 students and state-tribal education compact schools fund significant building system replacements and repairs. In the Capital Budget, the Legislature funds most of the next round of projects that OSPI identified for this program."