On Monday, Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association, posted a cranky attack on legislative leaders Senators Tom, Litzow and Sheldon. She claims they have been “slashing school funding by $2.5 billion.”

Ms. Lindquist is wrong. School funding has not been slashed. In fact, as the table below shows, school spending has increased significantly in the last ten years, from $11.3 billion to $15.6 billion, a nearly 50% increase. In 2001-2, schools in Washington spent $7,330 per student. In 2011-12, schools are spending $10,237 per student, the highest amount ever in state history.

Public school financing in Washington is a complex mix of multiple programs and funding sources. It creates a hazy fog of confusion that allows self-interested parties like Mary Lindquist to mislead the public with erroneous claims.

School spending has not been cut. It just hasn’t increased as fast as Mary wanted it to.

Maybe Mary should do her homework the next time she talks about school spending.

K-12 Spending — Operating, Total Budgeted (does not include capital spending)

2001-03 $11.3 billion
2003-05 $11.9 billion
2005-07 $13.2 billion
2007-09 $15.2 billion
2009-11 $15.4 billion
2011-13 (budgeted) $15.6 billion


[Reprinted with permission from the Washington Policy Center blog; featured photo credit: ]