Federal Way schools take fight to Olympia

Superintendent Tom Murphy and Federal Way School Board President Suzanne Smith joined forces with members of the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce for a trip to Olympia to speak with legislators on funding.

Both Murphy and Smith are also members of the chamber.

The group went down on Thursday to encourage lawmakers to find more money in the budget to fund education, among other chamber agenda items.

"One of their items is to fix the fair funding," Murphy said.

The Chamber members went as a sign of support for the district.

Federal Way has been quite vocal in its displeasure over the loss in education funding from the state. Federal Way faces a minimum loss of $5 million from its normal funding. Because the district has already cut back its budget by $14 million over the past few years, a cut of $5 million will mean job losses.

The district has to let teachers know by May 15 if their jobs are in danger of elimination.

The board has already signed a resolution backing Murphy's statement that Gov. Christine Gregoire's proposed budget does not follow the state constitutional mandate that education be fully funded.

Lawmakers will wrestle with the budget until April, after which Murphy will present his recommended budget to the school board.

The board will adopt its budget on June 23.

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