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A budget with millions more for our students

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Since the legislative session began, WEA members have emailed and visited our lawmakers, rallied, and signed in on bills to share what our students need. Now we can see the impact we’ve had on the supplemental budget agreement. We expect the budget to be passed in this form tomorrow, on the last day of the session. 

The final conference budget includes our biggest priorities. The additional $72 million for prototypical staffing for paraeducators, office workers, and non-instructional aides begins this current school year.  This is a downpayment toward the support our ESPs and students need, and we will be back next year to continue advocating for increased funds. 

Additionally, we were able to secure a nearly $20 million increase in Special Education funding, as part of the 1% increase in the cap. In the Capital budget, legislators made a significant investment in the school construction assistance program by raising the per square foot funding from $271.61 to $375

While these funding increases were not everything our schools, colleges, and students need, education was one of the few areas that saw significantly higher funding in the conference budget than both the House and Senate budget proposals. Our hard work advocating together for students made a big difference in the conference report. These additions to the supplemental budget are the first steps in addressing the many needs in schools. We will be back in the 2025 legislative session to build on these successes and move closer to closing funding gaps.

The 2024-25 school year COLA is set at 3.7% for K-12. For higher education faculty and staff covered by Initiative 732, the COLA for FY 2025 is 5.8%.

Key Education Additions in the 2023-25 Supplemental Budget


Conference budget

ESP Staffing Enhancement in the Prototypical Model

$72 million

Materials, Supplies, and Operating Costs

$44 million

Special Education

$20 million (cap to 16%)

Pupil Transportation

$77 million

Teacher Residency and Substitute Support Program

$3.5 million (residency) $621,000 (subs)

Community Eligibility Provision (meals)

$45 million

Professional Development Focused on Isolation and Restraint and Inclusionary Practices

$5 million

Plan 1 COLA

$12.6 million

Higher Ed Student Support

$4.6 million

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