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A definition of basic education worth fighting for

Chris Korsmo, CEO, League of Education VotersChris Korsmo, CEO of the League of Education Voters, submitted an op-ed to The Seattle Times‘ Education Lab yesterday. It was published in The Seattle Times print edition on June 20.

In her column, Chris argues that the definition of “basic education” in Washington is too narrow—it does not include early learning or higher education. Read below for an excerpt, or read the entire column online.

At the League of Education Voters, we support an ample, equitable, stable education funding plan. While we supported the re-definition of “basic education” developed in 2009 (it includes smaller class size, full-day kindergarten, transportation, materials and supplies) upon which McCleary is based, we advocated that the definition should also include early learning and higher education.

During the past two years, we have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the current definition of basic education. It is neither ample nor equitable. And thanks to our over-reliance on local levies, it certainly isn.t stable.

We need a definition of basic education that puts students and their learning at the center.

Read the entire op-ed on The Seattle Times website.

Posted in: Blog, Early Learning, Featured, Funding, Higher Education, LEV News

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Fulfilling the promise that a high-quality public education provides

It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders….
—Article IX, Section I, Washington State Constitution

Earlier this year, the State Supreme Court ordered the Washington Legislature to provide a plan by April 30, 2014, for fixing the state’s unconstitutional education funding system. The McCleary v. Washington decision found that the state was violating its constitutional obligation to amply fund basic education and gave lawmakers a 2018 deadline to fix this violation.

Battle over School Funding panel. From left: Former Justice Phil Talmadge, Sen. Christine Rolfes, Billy Corriher, and Frank Ordway.

From left: Former Justice Phil Talmadge, Sen. Christine Rolfes, Billy Corriher, and Frank Ordway.

The League of Education Voters and Center for American Progress recently hosted a panel discussion, The Battle over School Funding: The Legislature v. the State Supreme Court to discuss the case and the Legislature’s response. Panelists included Senator Christine Rolfes; former Justice Phil Talmadge; Frank Ordway, LEV’s Director of Government Affairs; and Billy Corriher, Director of Research, Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Events, Funding, LEV News

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The Battle over School Funding

The Battle over School Funding: The Legislature v. The Supreme Court; May 1, 2014, 12 PM, SeattleEarlier this year, the State Supreme Court ordered the Washington legislature to provide a plan by April 30, 2014 for fixing the state’s unconstitutional education funding system. The McCleary v. Washington decision found that the state was violating its constitutional obligation to amply fund basic education and gave lawmakers a 2018 deadline to fix this violation.

In a recent legal analysis of the case, Judge Phil Talmadge, former State Supreme Court Justice (1995–2001), wrote that the Court’s decision to “retain jurisdiction to monitor legislative compliance” represents “uncharted waters” for the state. Judge Talmadge lays out a number of potential outcomes in his analysis of this legislative-judicial battle over school funding, writing: “The issue presented here is not one of whether the Court has the power… to order compliance with its McCleary opinion. It does. The more basic and nuanced question is whether it is wise to exercise that power.” (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Funding, LEV News

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