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Spokane, WA: SPED underfunded by $5.5 million this year

Mar 2, 2020, Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review: Spokane Public Schools rejected asking for a supplemental levy last week. Here’s what that means Time will tell whether Spokane Public Schools made the correct decision last week by forgoing a supplemental levy election in April. The fiscal future is so hazy and the variables so numerous, it may be another year before the impact of last week’s 3-2 decision is felt. By then, the district will be seeking a three-year replacement levy – a major reason the supplemental levy proposal was rejected and the board decided instead to draw on its reserves next year. In trading away the chance for a one-time infusion of $22.5 million, the district gained some important intangibles. The biggest is trust, as board member Kevin Morrison reiterated during Wednesday’s discussion. Based on a track record of 70%-plus approval in recent levy campaigns, a levy likely would have passed in April. But what about next time? Five months after winning overwhelming passage of a $495 million capital bond in November 2018, the district declared a financial emergency last April. As schools suffered painful losses of people and programs and the red ink deepened, skeptical taxpayers waited for the next shoe to drop…. This year, special education in Spokane Public Schools is underfunded by about $5.5 million, the district says….

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