2018-19 School Funding Impacts

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School Board goes on the road to engage the community in major budget cut strategies 

Tacoma Public Schools will face a loss of $30 million in funding next school year, which will require major position eliminations and spending reductions across the district.

To help plan for the 2019-2020 school year budget, the School Board has scheduled two of its budget work study sessions in the community:

  • Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at Mount Tahoma High School Auditorium, 4634 S. 74TH St.
  • Thursday, Mar. 21 at 6 p.m. at Wilson High School Auditorium, 1202 N. Orchard St.


Due to a projected budget shortfall of $38M in the 2019-2020 school year we will be making cost-saving measures, cuts during the 2018-2019 school year. 

  • Programs and staffing are currently being evaluated. 
  • If we do not get a legislative fix before the end of November we will face the cuts. 

The funding formula put in place by the legislature last June to satify the seven-year-long state Supreme Court case called McCleary created winners and losers. Some school districts—mostly those in wealthy communities—won big financial windfalls. Districts like Tacoma and Yakima with high-poverty urban neighborhoods actually lose funding in both the short-term and the long-term.

How bad is it?

  • Tacoma Public Schools will get $389 LESS per student beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Without an immediate legislative fix, a year from now we face significant staff and programs cuts.

Take Action . You can advocate for fair funding for Tacoma Public Schools students and staff.

Our local legislators—Reps. Laurie Jinkins, Jake Fey, Christine Kilduff, Steve Kirby, Dick Muri and Sens. Jeannie Darneille, Steve Conway and Steve O'Ban—have fought for our district, our students and our staff members. They can't do it alone. The solutions for Tacoma and other districts statewide require legislators from across the state to come together to fix the inequities.

Write or call your area legislators to fix the funding disparities under the new law, and allow us to collect the levy dollars we need to operate. Find your local representatives.

Our schools face an unnecessary, looming financial disaster, and I’m upset.

No doubt you have heard about the seven-year-long state Supreme Court case called McCleary. The court repeatedly told our state to fully fund education. Then in June this year, the Supreme Court decided that funding changes made by the state legislature had solved the problem. Case dismissed.

That was a mistake.

Read Carla's full statement > 

Frequently asked questions

How did Tacoma lose money in the state's new school funding formula when other Districts gained?

Wasn't the Legislature's response to McCleary supposed to solve school funding challenges?

What happened with the $12 million one-time funding that Tacoma Public Schools received from the State for the 2018-2019 school year?

Why can't the district use funding reserves to provide pay increases?

What is the district doing to fix the funding challenges.

Didn't we vote to give more money to schools last February? What happened to that funding?

What can we do to advocate for fair funding for Tacoma Public Schools?