Hearing on Bill Affecting Schools’ Capital Projects Funds

The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee heard testimony on Second Substitute House Bill 1280, allowing school districts to use capital project funds for fees for “…the ongoing fees for online applications and licensing of software, including upgrades and incidental services, and ongoing training related to the installation and integration of these products and services.”

The AIA/WA testified against this bill citing concerns that it authorizes the use of funds for purposes that are inconsistent use of capital project funds. Ongoing software fees and training should be funded through operating budgets.

The AIA/WA does not dispute the importance or the need for funds for technology needs. However, it is inappropriate to place the funding mechanism for software licenses, online subscriptions and ongoing training in the section of the statute reserved for the capital projects fund.

It would be more appropriate to pay for software licenses and ongoing training through a maintenance and operations levy or through a dedicated technology levy.