Category Archives: What’s New

Supreme Court rules unanimously: Legislature is in contempt

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.


NEWS urges strong sanctions at McCleary hearing

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.

Hearing photo-1
Tom Ahearne, with Carter, Stephanie and Kelsey McCleary

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.


Watch the Sept. 3 Supreme Court hearing live on TVW

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.


‘Constitutional rights either matter or they don’t’

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”.

Read the State’s filing.

Read NEWS’s response.


NEWS’s position on the class size initiative

The class size initiative is not in conflict with the McCleary ruling.  I-1351 addresses reduced class sizes which is one of the components the State must fund as ordered by the Court; however, I-1351 does not address associated costs for building classrooms, transportation, and other related expenses.