Pin It
Favorite

Going into Overtime 

Lawmakers in Olympia are still trying to make a deal; plus, a yet-to-open school hits a snag

click to enlarge art19402.jpg

Budget Impasse 

A second Special Session is set to start this week after lawmakers failed to agree on a new two-year operating budget.

Negotiations between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-run House stalled over the last 30 days as Republicans demanded policy reforms and Democrats asked for new revenue streams through taxes.

“Both sides are trying, but have had limited success to reach some agreement,” says Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “But [Democrats] have so far refused to consider anything but more and more taxes.”

On Saturday, Senate Republicans approved their own budget plan in response to the House Democrats’ proposal. While both budgets would leave nearly $600 million in reserves, the Senate plan spends more on public education than the House ($1.526 billion compared to $1.349 billion), but significantly less on social services ($167 million compared to $353.3 million).

Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, criticizes the Senate GOP budget, saying it was “not an effort toward compromise.”

“The Senate Republican budget is a bad budget for Spokane,” Billig says. “It cuts services that so many in our community rely on as they work their way out of poverty.”

The Legislature must reach a budget deal before July 1 to avoid a government shutdown.

— DEANNA PAN

Crowd Control

The new Jefferson Elementary hasn’t even opened yet, but it’s already faced an overcrowding problem.

Recently, the school principal sent out a letter announcing that, due to space issues, the entire “Designated Instruction” program for students with disabilities would be moving to Grant Elementary. Parents were incensed.

“They just built a brand new building for Jefferson,” Tami Leitz, a parent of a girl with Down Syndrome, says. “Now they’re saying, ‘Oh, we don’t have space for you.’ … This was really poor planning on the part of Spokane Public Schools.”

Amid growing concern, Superintendent Shelley Redinger decided to reverse the decision: Thanks to some reworking of classroom space, the DI program could stay at Jefferson. Parents like Leitz breathed a sigh of relief.

But the overcrowding issue remains. School officials say the district did spend a lot of time planning, but two things happened: The district decided to move toward all-day kindergarten, taking up another classroom. And a higher number of students decided to “choice” into Jefferson. Families not in the boundaries of Jefferson had asked if their children could be sent to Jefferson anyway.

“Maybe it’s the old adage,” Associate Superintendent Mark Anderson says, “build it and they will come.”

— DANIEL WALTERS


Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Running Dry
  • Running Dry

    How Wild Waters slid from the top water park in the Inland Northwest to an abandoned ruin
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year

    WSU president leaves behind a strong vision for the school's future
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • You Got Frenched!
  • You Got Frenched!

    Al French scuttles Todd Mielke's bid for county CEO; plus, a shoplifting death in Coeur d'Alene
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget

Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget @ Spokane Valley Library

Wed., July 1, 5-8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Deanna Pan

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

marijuana


Briefs


Comment


Publisher's Note


Courts


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation