Northwest NEWS

December 24, 2001


I-728 taskforce to meet in early January

An I-728 taskforce, focused on 2002-2003, will convene beginning in early January 2002.
   This committee will be comprised of 14 people, seven of whom participated on last year's committee. Their charge will be to look at how the I-728 funds are currently being spent and determine if next year's funds should be allocated in a similar way.
   For 2001-2002, Northshore will receive approximately $3.7 million. Next year, the district anticipates receiving about $4 million.
   The total dollar amount is tied to enrollment and increases on a per student basis from this year to next.
   All meetings to discuss allocations for 2002-2003 are open to the public and will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Ricketts in Bothell. Meetings are tentatively scheduled for Jan. 9, 23, Feb. 6, 13,27, March 6.
   The first reading to the school board will be March 12. The second reading is set for March 26.
   In November 2000, voters in Washington state overwhelmingly approved Initiative 728, a Student Achievement Funding Initiative aimed at providing system-wide improvements to teaching and learning. The sources of this revenue were to come from state property tax, the state lottery until the 2004-2005 school year, and the emergency reserve fund spill over. Given all the financial challenges faced by the state, there is reason to believe that allocations beyond 2002-2003 might be non-existent.
   In January, 2001, the school board voted to create a 20-member task force composed of staff, parents and community to study the initiative and gather input on the potential use of the funds. Three months later, the committee presented its recommendations to the School Board. Their plan represented a four-year phase in of resources and a recognition that changes in student achievement would take time. The investment of funds in specific programs for the first school year, 2001-2001, would set a baseline for new programs and future growth in student achievement.
   Pamela Katims Steele, Ph.D.
   Northshore School District
   Director of Communications
   425-489-6399 (phone)
   425-489-6274 (fax)