Rep. Norma Smith says Democrat education bill creates inequitable funding


Legislator: Rep. Norma Smith
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Majority Democrats pushed their McCleary education funding plan through the House Wednesday, but with plenty of criticism from House Republicans who say the proposal falls short of real reforms. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.

SUGGESTED LEAD: Majority Democrats pushed their McCleary education funding plan through the House Wednesday, but with plenty of criticism from House Republicans who say the proposal falls short of real reforms. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.

SATTGAST: All eyes are on the state Legislature this session to see how it will address the education funding issue and bring the McCleary lawsuit to a close once and for all. But legislative Republicans say the House Democrat education plan passed Wednesday kicks the can down the road even further with no funding, no sideboards and no reforms.

Education Funding Task Force member Representative Norma Smith says an overall education funding plan needs to be ample, equitable and accountable – none of which are found in the Democrats’ bill…

SMITH: “Leaving in place a levy system, even though it may be redefined as enhancements only, continue to create that situation in which children in wealthy districts will have opportunities that children in poorer districts do not.”

SATTGAST: House Republicans offered seven amendments that focused on levy reform, class sizes, career and technical education, accountability and addressing failing schools. All but one were rejected by majority Democrats.

The measure passed the House along party lines, 50-47. It now goes to the Republican-controlled Senate where it is expected to be dead on arrival.

John Sattgast, Olympia.

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