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Governor signs education bills affecting funding, testing and class sizes

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OLYMPIA -- It’s been a big month for public schools in Washington.

Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee signed laws to expand all-day kindergarten and reduce some class sizes.  And earlier Tuesday, the governor signed another set of measures that pave the way for more money for districts across the state.

Inslee said this year’s historic increase of nearly $1.5 billion for schools will help fulfill the state Supreme Court mandate to add more money to education.

Tuesday's action by Inslee, combined with last week’s bill signings, is the result of a long debate in the Legislature about what to do for public schools.

Here are the recently signed laws for schools:

  • All-day kindergarten
  • Class size reductions in K-3
  • Teacher COLA/Bonus
  • Early Learning

On Tuesday, Inslee also signed a measure to suspend Initiative 1351.  Voters approved that measure to reduce class sizes in all grades last fall, but the Legislature and the governor argued that the $2 billion price tag was just too expensive.

Another school measure Inslee just signed isn’t about money, but about testing.  High-schoolers will still be able to graduate for at least another two years even if they don’t pass the science assessment.  The governor and Legislature decided the test was too hard and needs to be reformed.

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