State of public ed

In the final hours before a state government shutdown, the Legislature passed a landmark bill that adds billions of dollars to public schools in Washington state over the next four years. Passage of this bill addresses the chronic underfunding of schools called out in the state Supreme Court’s McCleary case.

Among its details:

• Reestablishes certain increases to class size ratios and other school staffing ratios as enrichments.

• Establishes a new state property tax for common schools, beginning in calendar year 2018, for a total rate of $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed value when combined with the existing state property tax.

• Establishes a new school district levy lid capped at the lesser of $2,500 per student or $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, effective calendar year 2019.

• Provides local effort assistance in proportion to a school district’s actual levy compared to the maximum levy, up to a combined total of $1,500 per student, effective calendar year 2019.