Senate OKs Schoesler bill helping school districts address maintenance needs

The Senate today unanimously approved a measure introduced by 9th District Sen. Mark Schoesler that aims to help school districts in Washington address their building-maintenance needs.

Senate Bill 5403, passed 48-0, would allow school districts to create a “depreciation subfund” that can receive a transfer of up to 2% of a school district’s general fund each fiscal year.

“This bill provides another way for school districts to handle building- or facility-maintenance needs,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “Sometimes it can be better for a school district to pay cash for a building repair or to set aside money for emergencies when they arise. Establishing this subfund, which is voluntary, is a way to help students learn in a healthy environment since school buildings would be in better condition.

“School administrators have recognized the value of this proposal. I’m pleased to see it receive strong support in the Senate and I hope it will receive approval in the House and become law this year.”

SB 5403 likely will be sent to the House Education Committee for further consideration.

During the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, the Senate twice easily passed an earlier version of Schoesler’s bill. Senate Bill 5202 reached the House Rules Committee and was placed on the House floor calendar in both sessions before stalling.