Students in computer lab

Supreme Court rules unanimously:          The State is in contempt

In a unanimous ruling issued Sept. 11, 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court 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. Read more.

Court orders State to “show cause” to avoid contempt citation

The Washington Supreme Court issued an order on June 12, ordering the State to appear before the Court at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 3, “to address why the State should not be held in contempt” for violating McCleary case rulings. Read the Supreme Court order.

Supreme Court in January 2014:           Speed up McCleary funding

The Washington State Supreme Court turned up the heat on legislators to provide local school districts the billions of dollars of additional K-12 funding that the State’s own studies have confirmed are needed to cure decades of unconstitutional underfunding – including fully funding salary increases, materials and operations, transportation and both the staffing and construction costs for full-day kindergarten and K-3 class size reductions.

“It is incumbent upon the State to demonstrate, through immediate, concrete action, that it is making real and measurable progress, not just promises,” the Order stated. The Court ordered the State to submit a detailed plan no later than April 30 that includes a year by year phase-in schedule for fully funding every element of basic education as defined in the McCleary ruling. Read more.

Court issues order to compel progress

A powerful order was issued by the Washington State Supreme Court on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, confirming what every school district in Washington knows to be true: The State is failing miserably to make progress on complying with the McCleary order to make “real and measurable progress” toward fully funding K-12 education. Read the court order.

The State must make ‘real and measurable progress’ toward 2018

In July 2012, the Supreme Court followed up its landmark January 2012 ruling in the McCleary case with another victory for NEWS, ordering the State to make annual progress reports to the court and allowing NEWS to respond to each of the State’s reports to inform the Court of the accuracy of the State’s claims. Read NEWS’s summary of the July 2012 order. In another significant action in December 2012, the court said that the State’s first report “falls short” and “does not sufficiently indicate how full compliance with article IX, section 1 [of the constitution] will be achieved.” The court ordered the State to make “real and measurable progress” toward fully funding K-12 education by 2018.

Is the State making ‘steady progress as ordered?

These McCleary per-pupil State funding chart and FAQs can serve as a framework for conversations with lawmakers about “progress” on fully funding education. This important information includes evidence from the McCleary trial and relevant points regarding the State’s K-12 funding obligation under the McCleary ruling. Clearly, some elected officials may not want to address these funding figures and may promote a lesser state obligation to our schools. We ask that you discuss this information with your constituents and everyone who shares an interest in ensuring that the State lives up to its constitutional duty to amply fund K-12 schools.