Spokane representative pushes bill to lower class sizes

OLYMPIA – When school facilities are replaced by state funded new construction, the old facility is taken offline for student use because state law requires it. In new legislation introduced by Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D—Spokane), older facilities barred from being used as classroom space, could still be used to support all-day kindergarten and lower class sizes for K-3 for five years while the state grapples with a permanent solution to lower class sizes.

“In the Mead School District, we’re looking at situation where the existing Northwood Middle School could be used to help lower class sizes after the new school is built, but state law doesn’t allow it,” said Riccelli. “The commonsense, temporary solution is to use all existing facilities available. I hope to see this bill become law so districts like Mead can give our kids the best possible education.”

House Bill 2985 was introduced last week and had a public hearing in the Capital Budget committee where Mead School District Superintendent Dr. Tom Rockefeller spoke on the need for more space due to expanded population growth.

Audio of Superintendent Rockefeller’s testimony in the House Capital Budget committee on Friday, February 19 can be played below.


Rep. Riccelli and Dr. Rockefeller met after the committee hearing to discuss why HB 2985 is needed for districts like Mead.