2018-19 School Funding Impacts

Latest News

​July 11, 2019

2019-2020 Budget Survey

Have a question, comment, suggestion, concern or compliment about our 2019-2020 school year budget?


We would like your feedback on the process, priorities and reductions for the 2019-2020 school year budget. Tacoma Public Schools faces additional projected budget reductions for the 2020-2021 school year. Your feedback on this short survey will inform our preparation and process for the next budget.


Read more about the 2019-2020 school year budget.

July 1, 2019

Presentation, public hearing held June 27 on proposed 2019-2020 school year budget 

​The Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors heard a presentation at its June 27 meeting regarding the proposed budget for the upcoming school year.

The 2019-2020 budget will be adopted by the Board of Directors at the July 11 meeting. The Board meets at 6 p.m. in the fourth-floor auditorium of the Central Administration Building, 601 S. Eighth St.

Following the presentation by Chief Financial Officer Rosalind Medina, the Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed budget.

Read Full Article>>

​June 18, 2019

TPS, TEA making progress this spring in negotiations for new labor contract 

Tacoma Public Schools and the Tacoma Education Association (TEA) already have made progress this spring in negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement to take effect Sept. 1.

The current five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiated in 2014 will expire Aug. 31.

The TEA represents:

  • Teachers and other "certificated" staff, such as counselors, librarians, nurses and therapists,

  • Office professionals, and

  • Professional-technical employees.

So far the two sides have reached tentative agreements on approximately 20 total contract issues for the three employee groups during 18 meetings that began in March.

The process at the table, for both groups, has been collaborative and productive with the focus on trying to problem-solve our way through each side's issues.

The tentative agreements have focused primarily on non-monetary issues, such as cleaning up unclear language in the previous agreement and incorporating into the CBA some memorandums of understanding that both sides agreed to over the last five years.

Read Full Article>>

​May 15, 2019

Update: Budget reductions and layoffs

We have gone through an extensive budget review process with input from staff, parents, students, and community. By carefully tracking and accounting for retirements, resignations, and vacancies, we have minimized the number of reduction in force and layoff notifications. Additionally, the legislature's action to increase the amount districts can collect through local levies has helped to reduce the number of position eliminations, layoffs, and other budget reductions. Starting in January 2020, Tacoma Public Schools will be able to collect the full amount of local levy funding voters approved in February 2018.

Unfortunately, we are notifying 31 employees that their employment with our district will end in August 2019. We have worked closely with our union partners and followed all the requirements of our collective bargaining agreements. It is with tremendous sadness that any employee receives a reduction in force or layoff notification, and we ask for sensitivity and understanding as these changes are carried out.

Reductions in force and layoff notifications given

  • Nine administrators and central support staff are receiving a layoff notification this week. This is in addition to the 43 administrators and central support positions eliminated earlier this school year.
  • Nine certificated employees received a reduction in force notification this week, which is 0.4 percent of our certificated staff. This group includes a variety of roles and responsibilities that require certification.
  • 13 non-certificated school-based staff are receiving a layoff notification this week.

Read the full update >>

May 8, 2019 
Understanding our budget and the impacts

Every employee at Tacoma Public Schools has an impact on students and student achievement. As an organization, we have worked hard to create systems and programs that improve outcomes for students. We have many achievements to be proud of, including raising graduation rates, increasing the number of industry certifications earned, expanding extracurricular activities and summer learning opportunities, and creating systems to support social and emotional growth.

Despite those successes, we are facing a budget shortfall that requires us to make the difficult decision of eliminating some positions. 



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?