MOSES LAKE - The Moses Lake School District initiated bargaining negotiations with the Moses Lake Education Association this week.
Moses Lake School District Superintendent. Dr Josh Meek confirmed the two organizations began negotiations on Thursday.
The district says to ensure transparency during the negotiations, the district will be releasing proposal information from both sides through the district's website.
In a press release, Meek explained that labor negotiations this year are complex in part due to the McCleary funding “fix." The fix Meek is referring to was the result of the Washington State Supreme Court decision that requires the State of Washington to fully fund basic education.
"Many of the allocations and funding formulas are extremely difficult to work with in relation to the needs at our schools," Meek stated.
The superintendent also highlighted areas that are impacted by the state legislation.
Note: The number of students is approximate and not definitive.
Legislation currently funds the safety of students and staff at 1 person per 5060 students, with 1 person per 4254 students in grades 9-12.
Basic Education in Washington funds 1 Counselor for every 810 Students from grades kindergarten through sixth grade.
The legislation also allocates funding for 1 Technology individual per 1590 students in the district.
For every 5,260 students, the State Basic Education funds one nursing position in the school district.
"This year, compared to last year, Moses Lake School District only increased enrollment by 0.23% compared to 1.5% last year; from 2017-2018 to 2018-2019 district-wide there are only a total of 19 additional students. Typical year to year growth provides approximately 1.5% increase and approximately 100 students annually. With student enrollment being the main driver of funding, this metric is concerning," Meek added.
In 2018, the Moses Lake School District Levy collected $17,946,309, a big difference from the 2019 Levy collecting $6,154,329. The Levy loss is $11,791,980.
Meek says levies used to help provide enrichment to schools and students in the district.
What does enrichment mean? It means additional Paraeducators nurses, counselors, Athletics, Coaches, etc.
"The state also negatively changed the way our allocations will be released, which will have a huge impact on payroll, AP, and purchasing. This change pushed approx. 330 million from 2020 to 2021 state fiscal year state wide," Meek said.
"As with any negotiation and proposals, there will be items that not everyone will agree with from both sides. The important piece to note is that these proposals start the conversations that are essential to coming to an agreement by opening dialogue and asking the questions that will reveal needs, desires, fears, preferences, and priorities," the district stated in a press release.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for June 19, 2019.