RCW 28A.400.280 requires a school district to offer some form of each of the five "basic benefits" defined in RCW 28A.400.270, before it can expend school funds for additional or alternative "optional" benefits.
1. The Legislature has authorized, but has not required, that the payments to be made to the Health Care Authority under RCW 28A.400.400 to reduce health insurance premiums for retired school employees be made from certain funds appropriated in the budget for insurance benefits for current school employees. 2. Money paid to the Health Care Authority for health care benefits for retired school employees should be disregarded in calculating the amounts paid by a school district for salary and benefits for current employees for purposes of applying the compensation limitations established pursuant to RCW 28A.400.200. 3. A school district has discretion to make the payments to the Health Care Authority required by RCW 28A.400.400 out of the appropriation for employee insurance benefits, or out of other funds; therefore, the exercise of that discretion affects the wages and working conditions of current employees and is a lawful subject for collective bargaining between the employees and the district.