Suggested lead:  Lawmakers in Olympia Wednesday heard about a plan to rescue Washington school districts from a sudden and disastrous drop in funding. Dan Frizzell has that story.

Wrap (:76 total): In Olympia-speak they call it the levy cliff, but it's not a cliff at all.  It's complicated, but what it boils down to is that school districts were given the authority a few years ago to seek increased revenue from voters at levels above the normal maximums, and state assistance was also temporarily beefed up.  That authority ends a year from now, but the assumption when the revenue lid was raised was that by now, the state would be sending enough additional resources to schools as to make the higher levies unnecessary. But, as House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan explains . . . 

SULLIVAN: "We're still grappling with that.  At the same time, school districts right now are trying to put together their budgets, what they see is that money going away. Until they can be assured by the state Legislature that they'll be at least kept whole, if not getting additional dollars, which they should, it's very difficult to budget and we're seeing some panic in districts." [:26]

Sullivan, a Democrat from Covington, says the bill that got a hearing Wednesday in the House Appropriations Committee should ease that panic.

SULLIVAN: "This levy cliff bill just says that for one year we'll delay that levy cliff, and by the end of this session we'll pass legislation so that those funds won't be needed, that districts will actually get additional money from the state." [:11]

The levy cliff bill should be voted out of committee on Thursday and could be voted on by the full House in a few days.  In Olympia, I'm Dan Frizzell.