‘The State has consistently failed to provide adequate funding’
In a monumental and historic victory for the students and citizens of Washington, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously in January 2012 that the State of Washington is violating its constitutional paramount duty to amply fund the education of all K-12 students. The court upheld the 2010 Superior Court decision in McCleary v. State declaring that the State must amply fund education first before any other programs or operations. In September 2014, the Court held the State in contempt for failing to make the progress it had promised. When the State failed to make adequate progress and produce a plan for complying with the Court’s orders, the Supreme Court in August 2015 fined the State $100,000 a day until it complied.
In addition, the Supreme Court took the remarkable step of retaining jurisdiction over the case to ensure that its ruling is enforced and that the State fully funded K-12 education by 2018. “What we have learned from experience is that this court cannot stand on the sidelines and hope the State meets its constitutional mandate to amply fund education,” the court’s ruling stated. On June 7, 2018, after the State finally provided billions of dollars in new funding to K-12 public schools, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that relinquished its jurisdiction over the case.