Thursday, October 27, 2011

Governor’s preliminary cuts

Nearly $600 million less for children’s well-being and education 
$2 billion in cuts needed to balance the 2011-13 operating budget and maintain a reserve


Dear advocates,

We knew more cuts were coming, and today Gov. Gregoire gave us a glimpse of what might be ahead. She released preliminary spending reductions and asked all who care to review them. She will finalize her recommendations in November ahead of the special session.

Costs to kids? Cuts affecting the well-being and education of children come in at $592 million. And those are just to children and family programs, early learning and K-12 public schools. Other cuts will hit the adults in children’s lives, leaving kids more vulnerable.

The governor identified $4 billion in possible reductions, and then selected $2 billion in preliminary choices. This was the first phase of her work. Starting Monday, her staff will review revenue options that might offset some of the cuts. The biggest hits below (when measuring by dollars) are to levy equalization and class-size increases (grades 4-12).

Following is a breakdown of the preliminary cuts that affect our association’s priorities. For the full list of $4 billion in alternative cuts, click here.

Budget reduction packet: (Includes press release, letter to the legislature, alternatives for cutting)
Information on current budgets
Contact the governor

K-12 … ($422.4 million reductions) 
This figure includes pay cuts to staff. Staff cuts were itemized separately in the governor’s proposal. It does not include delay of June apportionment payment to school districts.
  • Reduce levy equalization payments by 50 percent - $150 million
    LEA goes to school districts with higher school property tax rates. Some districts could make up for some or all of the reduction by seeking to increase their local voter-approved levies; others will not be able to. (Note: Technically not “basic education” but covers essential operating costs.)
  • Increase class size by two students in grades 4 to 12 - $137.0 million 
    Boosts class size ratios of students to teacher as follows: grades 4–6: from 27 to 29; grades 7–8:
    from 28.5 to 30.5; and grades 9–12: from 28.7 to 30.7. Will result in fewer teachers, thus increasing class sizes.
  • Shift bus depreciation payment from October to August - $49 million
    Delays state payments to school districts for bus replacement by 10 months.
  • Reduce National Board certification bonuses - $8.4 million 
    Reduces bonuses from $5,000 to $4,000. 
  • Alternative: Revise state attendance policy - $6.4 million 
    Changes policy that considers a student withdrawn after he/she is absent unexcused for 20 consecutive days. Five, not 20 days will more accurately account for students who have dropped out of school and for whom the state continues to provide funding to the school district.
  • Eliminate or reduce small grants and projects - $9 million
    Terminates a number of grants and projects administered through OSPI: Promoting Actual Student Success (PASS), Readiness to Learn, Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST), principal and superintendent internships, career and technical education start-up grants, Building Bridges, STEM Lighthouses, nonviolence training and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG). Cuts by 20 percent LASER, Washington Reading Corps, Leadership Academy, College Readiness, Achievers Scholars and IT Academy. 
  • Reduce staffing for small high schools - $5 million 
    Shrinks staffing formula for high schools serving fewer than 300 full-time students from minimum of nine full-time teachers to a minimum of eight. 
  • Reduce OSPI state administration by 10 percent - $600,000 
  • Impose additional 1 percent salary reduction for K-12 employees (one year) - $37 million
    Reduces all K-12 salary allocations by 1 percent, effective for the 2012–13 school year.
  • Reduce monthly state allocation for K-12 employee health benefits - $20 million
    Reduces state allocations to school districts for employee health benefits from $768 to $745 per month.-

Cuts to non K-12 WSPTA short-term priorities: ($24.3 million reduction)
Early learning
Various cuts totaling $5 million
Juvenile justice

  • Reduce parole services for juveniles by 20 percent $3.8 million 
    Cuts will reduce the time in which parole is provided or reduce the number of juveniles served. Parole services are now provided to approximately 400 juveniles each month. 
  • Reduce juvenile court county funds by 20 percent - $5.5 million
    Cuts funding sent to counties for evidence-based programming that serves juveniles, affecting approximately 1,900 youths. 
  • Close a youth camp - $3.8 million
    Shutters one facility and transfers youths to other state facilities. 
  • Reduce caseload and increase efficiencies in facility transitions - $3.3 million
    Releases juveniles with non-violent offenses and a low-risk score on the minimum release date. Achieves additional savings by delaying new hires and services during facility transitions. 
  • Eliminate expansion of juvenile behavioral therapy programs - $750,000 
    Terminates therapy for approximately 200 aggressive youths and their families.
  • Eliminate non-core mental health programs - $1.4 million
    Terminates the TeamChild, Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and Washington Mentoring programs.
  • Eliminate community initiative funding - $700,000
    Terminates funding for a public/private partnership that supports at-risk youth and families.

Cuts to programs that support children’s health and well-being ($145.4 million reduction)

Children’s administration
  • Reduce by 10 percent state funds for domestic violence programs - $946,000
    Terminates state funds for domestic violence shelters that serve about 16,700 individuals annually. Retains funding for non-shelter services. 
  • Increase client-to-social worker ratio - $8.2 million
    Changes the average ratio of children to social worker. Affects only those social workers, associated supervisors and support staff employed in child welfare. Does not reduce the number of social workers in Child Protective Services. 
  • Eliminate child welfare programs - $7.3 million 
    Terminates specialized child welfare programs such as receiving care centers, continuum of care, sex abuse recognition training, children’s advocacy centers, educational coordinators, foster care assessment, adoption support recruitment and street youth. Approximately 5,700 children receive these services annually.
  • Reduce services - $4.7 million 
    Reduces the Pediatric Interim Care Center, foster parent child care and support services, receiving care services, maintenance overpayments, evaluation and treatment, sexually aggressive youth services, family preservation training and the responsible living skills program for adolescents. 
  • Eliminate family reconciliation services - $4.7 million
    Stops intake and referral services aimed at keeping families intact and promoting positive behaviors for about 525 families who seek assistance each year. 
  • Reduce foster care length-of-stay - $876,000
    Shortens the length of stay for 200 hard-to-place foster children now in care. 
Developmental disabilities, long-term care
  • Suspend Individual and Family Service program - $8.4 million
    Suspends services to nearly 1,000 families for respite care, therapies and other activities which help them keep loved ones with developmental disabilities in their homes.

Economic services
  • Reduce state funding for subsidized child care by 12 percent - $50.0 million
    Affects 4,000 children whose low-income families now receive subsidized child care
    while parents are working. Reduce TANF time limit to 48 months - $18.3 million Shrinks maximum time a family can receive a TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) grant from 60 to 48 months, which eliminates eligibility for nearly 1,900 families.
  • Reduce TANF grants by 2 percent - $7.7 million 
    Cuts TANF grants by 5 percent, which for a family of three will shrink the monthly amount by $23 — to $468.
  • Eliminate State Family Assistance program - $6 million
    Stops cash assistance to 1,200 families who do not meet TANF eligibility criteria due lack of documentation of citizenship. The average monthly payment is $240.
  • Reduce funding for refugee and limited English proficiency services - $1.8 million 
    Cuts 15 percent of program that will now target clients with the lowest level of Englishas-a-Second language proficiency. Serves 4,900 clients annually, of whom 735 will become ineligible.

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program - $22.1 million 
    Implement premiums for children over 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Holds premiums between $50 and $75 so that no family will pay more than 5 percent of income.
  • Apple Health for Kids - $1.2 million 
    Implement premiums for children over 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Holds premiums between $20 and $50 so that no family will pay more than 5 percent of income.
  • Eliminate state funding for school-based Medicaid - $3.2 million
    Shifts remaining cost for school-based medical services from state funds to local district funds to earn federal Medicaid reimbursement.
Budget reduction packet: (Includes press release, letter to the legislature, alternatives for cutting)
Information on current budgets
Contact the governor

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