Washington lawmakers to tell Supreme Court they kept promise on education

A special committee of the Washington Legislature plans to tell the state Supreme Court that lawmakers kept their promise to reform the state’s public school system, pouring in an extra $13 billion over a decade, raising teacher pay, and revising the property tax system.

The Joint Select Committee on Article 9 Litigation – more commonly called the McCleary committee after the landmark court case over public school funding – voted 7-1 Thursday to send its annual report on what lawmakers did to satisfy that 2009 decision.

The 42-page report spells out what lawmakers passed on June 30 –  legislation that includes more money for special education, the learning assistance program, bilingual instruction, highly capable students, and career and technical education.  It also increases state spending on transportation to schools, and adds higher levels of guidance counselors and parent coordinators to what’s known as the prototypical school model.

Overall, the state will spend an extra $3.7 billion in the next two years over what it spent in the last two, and another $4.6 billion in the two years after that.

The attorney general’s office will argue the state has met its obligation in a filing next week, while the attorney representing the families who originally sued the state will submit a brief Aug. 30 arguing that the state still hasn’t done what the court ordered it to do, and is falling short.

The Washington Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments sometime in the fall.  (Spokesman-Review)

Tags: , , ,