• Suspend I-728 class size reduction funding($861 million). Initiative 728 funds were zeroed out in last year’s budget for this school year.  This item carries that zero dollar amount forward for the next two years.
  • Suspend I-732 COLA – ($265 million).  The cost of living increases predicted for the next two year period are estimated at 0.3% for the 2011-12 school year and 2.5% for the 2012-13 school year.  In addition, when the legislature suspended the COLA two years ago it had promised to repay that amount over four consecutive years – an amount that would be equal to 1.2% for each year on top of the amounts cited earlier.  No funding is provided for either the catch up, or the COLA due for the next two school years.
  • Across-the-Board Salary Reduction – ($179 million).  This proposal cuts state funding for the salaries for all classified and certificated instructional K-12 employees by 1.9% and administrative staff 3% as of Sept. 1, 2011.  The furlough/waiver bill (SB 5829) appears to be dead, so the legislature will not be enabling a shorter school year.
  • National Board Bonus Changes – ($61.1 million). The bonus amounts are held at their current level of $5,090 annually for the base bonus, with an additional $5,000 per year for those who teach in a challenging school.  However, the timing of the payment of the bonuses will result in those payments only being made once a year on July 1.  For newly certified teachers in any given year, their bonus payment will be pro-rated at 60% for only those months during the prior school year they were certified.  The savings result largely from moving one of the bonus payment due during the next two-year budget period to the following (2013-15) budget period.
  • Eliminate K-4 class size reduction – ($215 million).  Although this funding has already been cut to accommodate the current year budget dilemma, this item carries forward that one-year cut to the ensuing  two-year budget period.
  • Repeal of the Plan 1 Uniform COLA – ($275 million). The Legislative budget adopts the Governor’s proposal to repeal the Uniform COLA that is provided Plan 1 members when they reach age 66.  This repeal will mean that any Plan 1 retiree who becomes eligible for that U-COLA will not gain any adjustment to their benefit, and those retirees who have already received the original COLA will never receive another adjustment to their current benefit level.  This will further exacerbate the loss purchasing power already experienced by retirees in this plan, that otherwise has no cost-of-living provisions.  However, the impact of this repeal will be slightly mitigated through an increase in the alternative minimum benefit for retirees in this plan from $1,000 per month to $1,500.  This change also will significantly reduce the anticipated employer pension cost increase by approximately 4.5% of pay.
  • Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) Funding Change – ($41 million). The Legislative proposal reduces funding for ALE programs, such as online learning and parent partnership programs by prorating a factor of approximately 85%.  In other words, those students will only generate 85% of the basic education funding a non-ALE student who attends in a school building would for that district.  In addition, payment of parent stipends by school districts and ALE providers to participating families is prohibited.
  • Assessment System Changes – ($50.5 million). Funding is reduced to reflect the postponement of the math end-of-course assessment as a graduation requirement and postponing the implementation of the science test as a graduation requirement.  The reduction also reflects an assumed reduction in OSPI payments for Collection of Evidence (COE) payments from $300 per COE to $200 per COE.
  • There are a vast number of other proposed reductions, such as $6 million from a reduction in Running Start funding; $ 6 million from food service programs, a $4.7 million cut to Summer Vocational Skills programs, and $3 million from the alternative routes program.

For K-12 compensation, beyond the salary changes noted above, funding for health benefits remains unchanged from the current school year at $768 per member, per month.  The subsidy amount districts must remit to the Health Care Authority to cover the subsidy provided K-12 retirees goes to $66.01 per month in the next school year, and to $67.91 for the 2012-13 school year.