The NEWS Board of Directors met this month to review the status of the McCleary case in light of the actions taken by the 2017 Legislature and the resulting Order issued by the Washington State Supreme Court on Nov. 15. (Read a summary of the Order.)
Mindful that the Court rejected the State’s claim that (1) the 2017 Legislature had satisfied the Court orders in the McCleary case; (2) the State’s contempt of court and consequent sanctions therefore continue, and; (3) the Court retained jurisdiction to ensure that the 2018 Legislature provides school districts with the additional $1 billion as mandated in the Court’s most recent order; the NEWS Board recognizes three important points:
- Although considerable progress has been made since the 2007 filing of this suit, the McCleary case is still not over.
- Continued advocacy will be required to keep pressure on the 2018 Legislature to appropriate the additional $1 billion of salary funding that the State told the Court is required to fully fund the State’s new salary model for the 2018-19 school year – and to do so by the March 8, 2018, end-of-regular-session deadline ordered by the Court.
- If the State’s new funding formulas do not in fact amply fund all 10 components of the State’s basic education program in the 2018-19 school year (as the State had assured the Supreme Court those funding formulas would), advocating that the courts take further enforcement action will be necessary.
The NEWS Board will meet in January before the next legislative session opens to address the continued advocacy needed to assure the State’s full compliance with the Satte’s paramount, ample funding duty established by the Court’s constitutional rulings in the McCleary case. The 1 million+ students in Washington’s public schools deserve nothing less. And members of the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools remain enthusiastically committed to the State of Washington finally complying with the Constitution of Washington.