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Education Forum with Sharon Nelson

As most know by now, the news on the budget front is not good. The revenue forecast for the 2011-2013 biennium (July 2011-June 2013) dropped last week by $1.4 billion. That is a significant drop given that the general fund budget, which funds education among other programs, is $32 billion. There is pessimism regarding the November revenue forecast which may bring revenues down again. The Governor and Legislature are probably looking at a $1-$2 billion deficit in the current biennium. For this reason, the Governor has announced that she will call the Legislature back into special session November 28th in advance of the regular session that begins in January.

It is a matter of debate as to how the Governor and Legislature will fill the hole: budget cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both. Initiative 1053, passed last November, requires that any tax increase receive a 2/3 majority vote by the Legislature unless it is sent to the ballot. For this reason, there is considerable discussion on enactment of a revenue package that could be sent to the voters as early as February.

Vashon’s State Senator Sharon Nelson, who serves on the Education Committee, has agreed to meet with us to answer questions on the potential budget consequences for Education. 7pm, Oct 18 @ McMurray Multi-Purpose Room. This will be an opportunity for her to give us the latest update and for PTSA members to ask questions. Please mark your calendars and attend with your Education questions and suggestions. Given the tight budget, we need to be thinking about how we can achieve flexibility within budget constraints. Suggestions by everyone are appreciated.