In its inception, funding for the Washington State Leadership Academy (WSLA) came from three sources: public and private funding, and district participation fees. For the past couple years, since the expiration of The Gates Foundation Grant, WSLA has been reliant upon state funds and nominal contributions from districts as it continues to search for new private funding.
Public funding from the Washington State Legislature was initially granted for two years, covering the planning and pilot phase of the Leadership Academy. This funding was contingent upon the managing partners securing private funding as well. Although state funding was frozen due to economic constraints and forecasts in December 2010, legislative funding for next year was renewed in the 2011 session, and has received continued support since then.
Private funding was obtained through a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in July 2007. This funding was, in turn, contingent upon sustained public funding. Other sources of private funding are continually being researched and considered.
District fees are assessed through the participating Education Service Districts (ESDs). During the pilot phase, the Leadership Academy covered most of the start-up costs for developing, evaluating and delivering the program. For the pilot year, each district was asked to contribute $5,000, which amounts to about 7% of the operating costs for the year. Post pilot, district contributions have been $3000.00 per district. Additionally, the Tacoma School District opted to pay in full for additional time beyond its initial two years.