Kids getting on the bus

The Network for Excellence in Washington Schools

Led by organizations like the Washington State PTA, the League of Women Voters of Washington, El Centro de la Raza, large and small school districts across our state, and a broad base of other civil rights, civic and education organizations, NEWS was launched in October 2005 when it became clear that action was needed to force the State to make good on its promise to each and every child in Washington.

The 11 original members of NEWS included the Bellevue, Bainbridge Island, Edmonds, Omak, Chimacum and Pasco school districts along with the Washington State PTA, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, the League of Women Voters of Washington, the Washington Education Association and the Washington State Special Education Coalition.

The McCleary v. State lawsuit was filed in January 2007. Membership in NEWS nearly quadrupled to more than 50 members by 2008 and then burgeoned to more than 300 at the end of 2010 following the successful trial court ruling. Today, NEWS membership stands at 442 – including 208 school districts representing more than 90 percent of Washington’s public school students – with new members still joining each year.

In 2012, this McCleary Coalition’s long efforts were rewarded when the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling declaring the State in violation of its “paramount duty” to fully fund K-12 education for all students.