Funding for education in the state of Washington is complicated. The state does provide some funding to school districts, but there is still a gap between what the state provides and what it costs to provide the services and programs Northshore students need. Some examples of the gaps between what the state funds and what the District pays for are as follows:
In 2021-22, the District receives funding for 3.5 full-time equivalent (FTE)* nurses. However, the District pays for 27.9 nurse FTE, filling the gap of 24.4 FTE. This represents 40 individuals. The District also pays for substitute and agency nurses to provide support and coverage at all schools.
In 2021-22, the District receives funding for 0.58 FTE psychologists and pays for 22.3 FTE. This represents 24 individuals.
In 2021-22, the District receives funding for 14.4 FTE elementary counselors and pays for 16.1 FTE. This represents 19 individuals.
In 2021-22, the District receives funding for 32.4 FTE middle and high school counselors and pays for 41.4 FTE. This represents 46 individuals.
In 2020-21, the District received $38.9 million in state special education funding and $5.4 million in federal special education funding. The total amount expended to provide special education services to our students last year was $67.5 million. The difference of $23.2 million was paid for by the District.
The state does not provide any funding for major construction projects in schools. In order to fill these funding gaps, school districts often utilize bonds and levies. This local funding allows our school district to provide the structures and services our community relies on, which allows students to grow and thrive.
Learn more about school bond and levy funding in Washington state from Educational Service District 112.
*Note about FTE: Full-time equivalents are a way to indicate the workload of an employee (or student) in a way that makes the information comparable across various contexts. A 1.0 FTE works full-time but it's possible that FTE is split between multiple locations. For instance, 0.5 FTE in two different elementary schools would be a 1.0 FTE.