Washington School Class Sizes Act, Initiative 728 (2000)
in Washington State
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The ballot title question asked of voters was, "Shall school districts reduce class sizes, extend learning programs, expand teacher training, and construct facilities, funded by lottery proceeds, existing property taxes, and budget reserves?"
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
Explanatory Statement by Attorney General: This measure would create a new student achievement fund in the state treasury and would specify how the money in this fund would be spent. School districts would be authorized to use student achievement funds to reduce class size, to provide extended learning opportunities, to provide additional professional development for educators, to provide early assistance for children who need pre-kindergarten support, and to provide building improvements relating to class-size reductions.
The measure would take the state lottery revenues currently deposited in the general fund and would divide these between the education construction fund and the student achievement fund. Until June 30, 2002, 50% of the revenues would be placed in each of the two funds. From 2002 to 2004, 75% of the revenues would be placed in the student achievement fund and 25% in the education construction fund. After July 1, 2004, all state lottery revenues (after meeting other obligations) would be placed in the education construction fund.
The measure would require that a portion of the proceeds of the state property tax levy be deposited in the student achievement fund to be distributed directly to school districts. From 2001 to 2003, $140.00 per student would be distributed to each school district each year, based on the average number of full-time equivalent students in the school district during the previous school year. Starting with calendar year 2004, this amount would be increased to $450.00 per student, adjusted each year for inflation.
The measure would provide that the dedication of lottery revenues and property tax revenues would not change the state expenditure limit.
The measure would also change the distribution of any revenues received in excess of the maximum allowed in the emergency reserve fund. Seventy-five percent of excess revenues would be transferred to the student achievement fund and 25% to the general fund balance. The percent placed in the student achievement fund would be reduced when the state's per-student funding of K-12 education meets a level of 90% of the national average of total funding for students as calculated by the United States Department of Education.
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