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At the NEWS general membership meeting in September 2014, NEWS lead attorney Tom Ahearne reviewed elements of the Supreme Court ruling in McCleary and clarified the State’s claims that it has made progress for meeting the Court’s 2018 deadline for fully and amply funding K-12 public schools. View a PDF of Tom’s PowerPoint presentation.
In a unanimous ruling, the Washington State Supreme Court today found the Legislature in contempt for failing to heed numerous Court orders compelling lawmakers to show steady, real and measurable progress in fully funding K-12 education and to develop a plan to amply fund public schools by 2018. The Court accepted the State’s promise that the Legislature would comply in the upcoming 2015 session and, therefore, delayed issuing sanctions until after the session ends.
In a hearing on the McCleary case before the Washington State Supreme Court on Wednesday, Sept. 3, attorneys for NEWS and the State suggested two starkly different actions that justices might take to compel lawmakers to make meaningful progress to amply fund K-12 public schools.
Find the Legislature in contempt and impose “uncomfortable sanctions,” NEWS lead attorney Tom Ahearne urged.
“You can speak harshly to the Legislature. You can tell them you’re really serious,” Deputy Solicitor General Alan Copsey proposed.
There’s sure to be a crowd at the Temple of Justice in Olympia for tomorrow’s 2:00 p.m. McCleary hearing. The Washington State Supreme Court will hear from attorneys from the State and from NEWS. If you’re unable to attend, you can watch the hearing live on TVW. The nonprofit TV station will archive the proceedings so you can watch later at your convenience. The McCleary case also will be the subject of TVW’s Impact program airing at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The State has filed its response to the Washington State Supreme Court’s order of June 6 requiring the State to appear before the Court to show cause as to why the State should not be held in contempt for failing to comply with McCleary orders. In turn, NEWS has filed its response to the State’s filing, opening with the principle that “Constitutional rights either matter or they don’t”.