Washington OSPI Seeks Funding to Compensate Massive Unenrollment

Tens of thousands of parents in Washington state have unenrolled their students from government schools since the initial Covid-19 lockdowns in March of 2020. As the classroom came into living rooms across the state, parents had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at what students were being taught. In addition to learning that reading, writing and arithmetic had been replaced with leftist indoctrination, remote classrooms were failing students of all grade levels.

Once children were back in the classroom in person, masks became required, some students are forced to eat outside in frigid temperatures and social distancing is often required. In person with “pandemic protocols” is not desirable. For any combination of these reasons, parents have pulled their students from the public school system in droves.

Government schools receive funding per student. Many parents expect that when they unenroll their student, the school will lose the funding for that student. In the last two years, the state legislature has compensated the public schools for these unenrolled students in the name of “Covid.”

On Friday, Washington OSPI, Chris Reykdal, stated in his press conference that enrollments are down 4% over the last 2 years. He’s asking the state legislature not to “force OSPI to pull those dollars back from school districts because of this temporary blip in enrollments.” He wants the gap fully funded and says that if it turns out to be a permanent change, then they can adjust it “down the road.” Uh-huh, right.

SB-5563 will be introduced next week when the 2022 legislative session begins. This is the bill would seek to fund school districts that have lost students due to unforeseen circumstances (like maybe, parents seeing what’s actually being taught…I dunno…). This would give the OSPI about $500 million in government school funding to compensate for the lost students this school year. From what we are seeing, the unenrollment is not a “temporary blip” as Reykdal would have you believe.

Many parents and families have taken on the added expense of private school, tutors for students who have fallen far behind, and homeschooling resources over the last two years. These families desperately need the financial resources they’re already paying in taxes for education to follow their student. Rep. Jim Walsh has introduced HB-1633 which would allow a $10,000 annual scholarship to those who apply. It’s a great start towards school choice in Washington and will provide much-needed relief for many families if passed.

The public schools have failed our children. Covid has been and continues to be a disaster for learning. The state of Washington requires students to take Ethnic Studies (also known as Critical Race Theory/CRT) and will be pushing this year to make it a graduation requirement. In Washington schools, your student can receive gender-changing hormones and an abortion without your knowledge or consent. The list of reasons why you wouldn’t want your child in public schools is a mile long.

We believe that funding should follow the student. We also believe that until it does the government schools and the teachers unions will continue to push their agendas that do not serve to educate students and prepare them with skills for life beyond school.

TAKE ACTION!

Read SB-5563, click on “follow bill” to receive email updates as this bill goes through the Washington state legislature. Take a moment to comment in OPPOSITION on the bill and send an email to your representatives. Don’t stop with one comment, one call or one email – continue to comment as it moves through the session. Send this information to your friends and family and ask them to do the same.

Read the bill: 5563.pdf (wa.gov)

Comment in OPPOSITION/Follow the bill: Washington State Legislature

Also be sure to follow HB-1633, Rep Walsh’s bill for school choice. You can follow and comment in SUPPORT of this bill just like you do the bill mentioned above. Be sure to share – we need as many people taking action and making their voices heard as possible.

Read the bill: 1633.pdf (wa.gov)

Comment in SUPPORT/Follow the bill: Washington State Legislature