2019 Budget Impacts

Impacts of the WA State and ESD 123 Budgets
Posted on 07/01/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Impacts of the WA State and ESD 123 BudgetsBudgets have been approved for both the State of Washington, as well as for our own Educational Service District 123. On April 29, the 2019 Legislative Session officially ended, and the State of Washington released its 2019-2021 budget.  On June 27, the 2019-2020 operating budget for ESD 123 also received its approval.  Both budgets have varying impacts on ESD employees and the school systems we serve.  At the state level, three top priorities connected to ESDs found their way into the 2019-21 Washington budget:  School Safety, SEBB Insurance, and House Bill 1599.  Within our own ESD’s budget, the most significant areas of growth can be found in programs such as Threat Assessment, Open Doors, ECEAP Preschool, and Birth-to-Two early intervention services.  The following are key takeaways on the impact of both the State and the ESD 123 budgets:

School Safety

  • This year, OSPI requested that the Legislature support a regional, coordinated delivery model of prevention, early identification, and intervention to support school safety and student health.
  • The Legislature is providing funding to all nine ESDs to assist school districts with comprehensive safe schools planning (HB 1109, Section 501, p. 144).
  • This funding does not pay for or designate a “School Safety Center” at each ESD.
  • ESD 123 will continue our Threat Assessment program, led by Katie Haynes under Dana Camarena’s Student Support department.
  • The ESD Threat Assessment program works with our region’s school districts in conducting needs assessments, school safety and security trainings, coordinating crisis and emergency response, and developing threat assessment and crisis intervention teams.
  • Primarily through Student Support Services, ESD 123 will continue to support schools in responding to both emotional and behavioral distress in students.

House Bill 1599 & Pathways to Graduation

  • House Bill 1599 provides students with more approved pathways to reach graduation, including:
    • Meeting or exceeding standard on state assessments in ELA and math
    • Completing and qualifying for college credit in dual credit programs
    • Completing a sequence of career and technical education (CTE) courses
    • Completing Bridge to College courses in ELA and Math
    • Meeting a certain score on the SAT or ACT
    • Earning high school credit in a high school transition course in ELA or math
    • Meeting standard on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
    • Passing a high school Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge class, or achieving a certain score on these tests
  • One of the purposes of this legislation was to remove the direct link between statewide assessments and graduation requirements.
  • School districts are still expected to administer state assessments, which are one of several pathways to reach graduation.Students who do not pass these state tests still have other options to meet graduation requirements.
  • There are several programs under the ESD 123 umbrella of services that work to help students graduate.One of these programs that is relatively new to ESD 123 and has seen tremendous growth is our uGrad Open Doors program led by Mark Wheaton. This program is designed to serve students (age 16-21) who have opted-out of high school, or who have otherwise disengaged from the educational process, and give them the opportunity to earn their high school diploma or GED online.
  • Those wishing to find detailed information and resources regarding current graduation requirements for Washington students are encouraged to visit the OSPI website.

School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB)

  • Those working within school districts and ESDs across Washington likely have heard about big changes coming to the benefits programs for public employees.In 2017, the State Legislature passed a law that created a new, mandatory benefits program for all school district employees.The new program is called the School Employee Benefits Board (SEBB).
  • Beginning January 1, 2020, the health insurance provided by all Washington school districts will be replaced by SEBB.
  • The bill has delayed implementation of SEBB for ESDs for four years; therefore, this change in insurance does not apply to ESD 123 employees.
  • The insurance provider for ESD 123 will remain the same (currently through Kaiser Permanente).
  • Those wishing to learn more about the SEBB Program and its impact on employees in our school districts are encouraged to visit the Washington State Health Care Authority website.

Continued Growth & Expansion in the ESD 123 Budget

Just under $22.6 million, the 2019-2020 operating budget is the largest to be passed by ESD 123.  In just one year, the budget has increased by more than 15 percent, and includes just under 150 FTE. The Open Doors uGrad and Threat Assessment programs are two of the four fastest expanding programs highlighted in the agency’s 19-20 budget.  The budget’s growth is also attributed to the expansion of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) Preschool and Birth-to-Two early intervention services.  Programs such as these point to the evolution of a budget historically comprised of more assorted grant awards, to a budget that now includes more sustainable operational programs.

The overall growth and expansion of the ESD’s budget is a direct reflection of our agency’s strategic priority of the same name.  In fact, all four ESD 123 Strategic Priorities have direct connections to the programs and services represented in the 2019-20 budget.  As we conclude one school year and begin planning and preparations for the next, highlights from the Washington State and ESD 123 budgets indicate the exciting work ahead.

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