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For my local government paper, I choose the Highline Public Schools district. A local government is a public administration of cities, counties, and districts that provide services like education, health care and more. Highline Public Schools is a special purpose district as it provides one and more services like education, transportation, health services, and security to students.
According to the Highline School District Information website, “Highline is a public school system that serves about 19,000 students within the cities of Burien, Seatac, Des Moines and White Center.
Highline district has over 32 schools from Kindergarten through 12 grade.
Highline’s structure is broken down into four main campuses: Evergreen, Highline, Mount Rainier, and Tyee, which all represent this specific district. Each campus houses a middle and elementary school, which serve as “feeder” schools that students typically transfer from into the corresponding campus in their district. There are about 289,240 citizens that reside within Highline boundaries.
The creation and running of school boards is established in Chapter 28A.
310 of the Revised Code of Washington. Every school district is directed by a school board who is responsible for the performance of their schools in their district. School board represents the community’s diverse beliefs and values. Each school board member is individually elected by the community they serve.
According to the Highline Board of Directors website, there are five elected school board members who serve a 4-year term. School board members advocates for their students, hires/fires the superintendent, and auditor budgets. Susan Enfield is the current superintendent of Highline School Districts, hired by the Board of Directors in 2012.
Highline employs more than 2,000 staff members. As the WA laws for educational service districts for programming and staff states that, ‘An educational service district shall have the ability to support an administrative unit of sufficient staff to provide a program of educational services that meet the requirements of RCW 28A.310.010, 28A.310.180, 28A.310.190, and 28A.310.350.’
Highline annual budget is $280.8 million and their average revenue was $247,693,803 and in expenditures $248,805,400 in the year 2016-2017.
Based on Highline Public Schools 2016-2017 Year End Board Report, they received most of their general funding from the following:
Based on the 2016- 2017 year end board report, most funding was split as follows:
Public schools are receiving more fundings by the WA state due to the McCleary Decision on Public Education Funding and Reform. The McCleary case of 2007 was about the state not meeting its constitutional obligation to adequately fund the education system. As the state was in violation of the constitution because school districts were relying on levies to fund a large portion of the costs of the education system. A levy is a tax collected by the school districts from the property owners who live in the district area. In January 2014, the Court ruled that the state had to submit a financially feasible plan for the upcoming school year that did not rely completely on levy dollars for the following school year. Legislature has also limited the amount of levy dollars an institution can have in a given time period, placing more financial planning and responsibility on the district.
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