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What it Means for Washington Schools

The Washington State Legislature usually adopts a capital budget once every two years. The funding is earmarked for the construction and repair of public schools, state office buildings, low-income housing and other types of public projects.

When the 2017 session adjourned July 20 without a vote on the two-year capital budget, $4 billion in state projects were left in limbo, including more than $1 billion intended for school districts.

This website has been established to help answer questions school districts have about the capital budget delay and to share the impact the Legislature’s impasse is having on them.

What’s the issue?

State capital funds already scheduled for 56 school construction and renovation projects in 36 school districts across the state are currently on hold, waiting on the State Legislature to pass its capital budget for the 2017-19 biennium. Without an approved capital budget, $1.03 billion dollars, identified and agreed upon by the Legislature in Senate Bill 5981 for K-12 school construction projects, are unavailable.

Why didn’t the budget pass?

Water resource management legislation (unrelated to education) is holding up passage. While the Legislature passed a $43.7 billion1 statewide operating budget, which addresses increased funding for K-12 school operations, the capital budget must be passed for $1.03 billion in school construction project funds to be distributed.

When will this be resolved?

It is unclear when the Legislature will return to adopt a capital budget.

What can I do now?

Share your questions or concerns about the impacts on your district at the form below. We will gather information and answer questions.


1. Washington State Operating Budget:
2. Washington State Capital Budget:
3. Associated General Contractors of America, Sept. 2016 report
4. Rider Levett Bucknall North America Quarterly Construction Cost Report, Second Quarter 2017

Washington State Construction

by the Numbers


of the 2017-19 Washington State Capital Budget is appropriated for K-12 construction.2


Washington school districts could lose the opportunity to participate in OSPI’s 2017-19 capital programs.


in construction wages and salaries from public and private projects contributed to the state’s economy in 2015.3

Construction costs in Seattle increased by


from April 2016 to April 2017.4

Share your questions or concerns

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