Where does the money come from?
The Mukilteo School District gets its operating revenue from three main sources: the State of Washington, the taxes paid by local property owners, and the federal government.
According to the 2023-24 operating budget, the school district expects to get a total of more than $300 million in revenue. Most of that funding comes from state and local sources with a small amount from the federal government.
Almost three-quarters of the school district’s revenue comes from the State of Washington because Article IX of the State Constitution says that it “is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders ...” This means that the state must provide funding for basic education. Consequently, each school district in the state receives an amount of money from the state (called an apportionment) that is based on the number of students it has enrolled in its classrooms. During the 2022-23 school year, the Mukilteo School District received about $10,671 per student for state general apportionment. The state also provides money for programs such as special education, bilingual education and student transportation.
In January 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling that said the state was not meeting its constitutional obligation to provide ample funding for public education. The court said that by 2018, the state must fully fund a bill passed by the Legislature in 2009 (ESHB 2261) that redefined basic education and a bill passed in 2010 (SHB 2776) that established funding formulas for K-12 education. To meet the court’s order, called the McCleary Ruling, the state Legislature is now faced with the challenge of increasing funding for schools. Learn more on the McCleary Ruling website.
School districts offer many programs and activities that are not funded by the state. The state doesn’t pay for sports and other extracurricular activities, for example. Instead, those programs are typically funded by a levy on local property taxes that is approved by local voters.
The federal government provides some funding for programs that help students receiving special services, students experiencing poverty and students who are learning to speak English, as well as provide subsidies for food services. The Mukilteo School District’s operating budget for the 2023-24 school year includes about $19.3 million from the federal government, or about 6.4 percent of the total revenue.