The 2017 legislative session is behind us, and it’s time to look back at all that was accomplished and how those accomplishments align with priorities of the Washington Roundtable. Roundtable Chair Kimberly Harris, President & CEO of Puget Sound Energy, recaps this year’s four legislative sessions and previews the work to be done in the years ahead in the 2017 Chair’s Report.
A few headlines from this year’s report:
1. The Legislature worked overtime to deliver a McCleary compromise that adds $8.3 billion in funding for K-12 education, limits the use of local levies for basic education, and directs more resources to struggling students and low-performing schools. When the McCleary solution is fully implemented in 2019-21, the state will have increased its biennial investment in K-12 education by $13.2 billion in just four biennia, investing nearly twice as much as it did in 2011-13.
2. With strong bipartisan support in both legislative chambers, lawmakers enacted legislation that maintains the state’s assessment-based high school graduation requirements in English language arts and math and provides students with additional options for meeting those requirements.
3. Lawmakers took steps toward increasing postsecondary credential attainment with investments to expand the State Need Grant and invest in Guided Pathways at the state’s community and technical colleges.
In closing, Harris said this: “On behalf of the Roundtable board, I commend lawmakers for the progress made this year. We look forward to continued collaboration to make Washington a better place to live, work, and do business.” Download the full report, and other Roundtable research and analysis, from our online Policy Center. You can also join the conversation with us on Facebook and Twitter.