LEV’s Perspective on the Latest Supreme Court McCleary Response

League of Education Voters - McCleary family

Stephanie McCleary and her son Carter McCleary, 17

The League of Education Voters is hopeful that the Legislature will finish the job to fully fund education in the 2017 session, and focus on doing what is best for Washington’s students. For LEV, this means ensuring that the additional resources put into our education system go to the students who need them most.

A comprehensive solution to funding education will require work on local levies, along with increased revenue. Any gains to the K-12 system should not harm social services, early learning, and higher education. And more money alone will not close the achievement gap.

The Washington Supreme Court’s latest response on the McCleary education funding lawsuit says:

  • The legislature remains in contempt of court
  • The Court said that state still has not come up with a plan to fully fund education or laid out a  plan for how it will provide for ‘dependable and regular revenue sources’ to pay for the needed increases in education funding.
    • The Court did not specify new revenue sources were needed, rather that shifting funds from one account to another or other one-time fixes that have been used in recent years to come up with the money to fund education will not be adequately reliable to meet muster with the court
  • The court sanction of a $100,000 daily fine continues and the court reserves the right to impose further sanctions pending the outcome of the 2017 legislative session
  • The Court is requiring the legislature to fully implement their plan to fully fund education by September 1, 2018
    • Previously the official deadline was unclear, but the court has now specified the deadline for implementation is for the 2018-19 school year
  • The plan to fully fund education must be passed into law by the end of the 2017 legislative session.
  • The legislature’s plan to fully fund education must include:
    • Funding to lower K-3 class sizes to 17 students per teachers
    • Provide for capital facilities to enable districts to pay for the full cost of smaller K-3 class sizes and full-day kindergarten
    • Pay for the full cost of K-12 staff salaries

Interested in what could be possible through the McCleary debate? Read Part 1 of our McCleary blog series, Rethinking Our Education System

Posted in: Blog, Funding, Legislative session

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