Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account:
A New Source of Education Funding for King County
The Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA) was created as an amendment to the 2015 State Transportation Revenue Package by the Washington State Legislature, and directs that these Sound Transit-related funds be used for educational services to improve educational outcomes in early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education. The State’s vision for PSTAA is described in RCW 43.79.520.
Approximately $315 million of PSTAA funds are expected to become available to King County between 2019 and 2034, and the County can decide, within parameters set by the state, how to spend the funds. General goals and principles for the use of PSTAA funds in King County were approved by the King County Council on December 11, 2017 as Motion 15029. The Council’s motion identified specific populations that PSTAA might support, and put forth other goals and objectives for the use of the funds, and subsequently the County identified nine potential education strategies to investigate further for funding.
More information on PSTAA and the nine strategy areas can be found here.
The County has, and continues to, collect information to help it to make decisions about use of the PSTAA funds.
The County hired a consultant to write three reports, as described below:
- Needs Assessment Report: a compilation and review of existing education-related needs assessments done recently in King County.
- Strategy Assessment Report: an examination of the potential impact of, need for, cost, and implementation feasibility of each of the nine strategy areas.
- Funding Level Options Report: a look at how many students might be served in each education domain, at different funding levels.
- New Community Engagement Report: a look at the feedback received from community input and engagement.
The County has also collected input from community members, through individual meetings, and at two County Council meetings focused on discussion of the PSTAA Needs Assessment and Strategy Assessment Reports, described above. Additionally, the Needs Assessment Report includes the viewpoints of hundreds, if not thousands, of King County residents about education needs, as expressed through various community needs assessment processes conducted in King County in recent years.
Community input processes continue throughout the remainder of the County’s PSTAA decision-making process, which will continue through early 2020. The first King County PSTAA grants are not expected to be made until mid- to late 2020.
More information about the remaining steps in the County’s process are in this diagram.