Legislative Session Statement
Summary: The Washington State Legislature made progress during the 2023 session on Seattle Public Schools priorities including special education funding.
Statement from Seattle School Board Leadership and Superintendent Jones on 2023 Legislative Session
The 2023 Washington State Legislative Session concluded on Sunday, April 23, 2023. Going into this legislative session, Seattle Public Schools established priorities of full funding of special education and transportation, among other supports for our students and families.
The Legislature made progress in the area of special education funding this session. The Legislature increased the multipliers in the funding formula and increased the cap on funding to 15% of a district’s enrollment, up from 13.5%. The changes to the special education funding formula result in $15.8 million in additional funds for Seattle Public Schools.
“We appreciate the partnership with our legislative delegation on special education funding. While there is still more work to be done to fully fund special education, the Legislature provided an important down payment.” said School Board Vice President/Legislative Liaison Liza Rankin. “These funds will help to provide the resources Seattle students who receive special education services need to thrive. We look forward to continuing our work together in the coming years to close the special education funding gap and ensure students with disabilities have full access to their basic education in inclusive learning environments that benefit all students.”
Seattle Public Schools also received $12.7 million in funding for capital projects at Skills Center locations across the district, including at Rainier Beach High School.
Dr. Brent Jones, Seattle Public Schools superintendent, said “We are incredibly grateful to the Seattle delegation for securing funding for these critical projects at our Skills Center locations. The project at Rainier Beach High School will help ensure that students furthest from educational justice have full access to the programs that prepare them to go into high-demand, high-wage fields. The future of Seattle and Washington state is made brighter by these investments.”
The Legislature continued transportation safety net funding but did not make additional investments in base pupil transportation during the 2023 session.
Read more about the district’s state legislative priorities.