Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A potential game changer . . .

I received an announcement today on a favorable ruling by a King County Superior judge that Initiative 1053, the one that requires a super majority of the legislature to raise taxes is unconstitutional. You can read about it on the League of Education Voters web page here. It is not often that you see the League and WEA on the same side of an issue, but they did partner on this lawsuit.

“This lawsuit is another important piece in making sure our kids have all the resources they need to get an excellent education,” Chris Korsmo, Chief Executive Officer, said. “LEV was founded on the principle that our kids deserve fully funded schools.”

“This decision is a victory for the children of Washington state,” said Mary Lindquist, WEA president. “If it is upheld, this ruling will pave the way for the Legislature to fully fund K-12 public schools as mandated by the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and the state Constitution. We hope it will be settled soon. Our kids can’t wait any longer.”

I am excited about the potential for this ruling to change the pace of education reform in our state. Legislators can now take the action that we elect them to take without this undue burden. Lead counsel Paul Lawrence shares his thoughts on the ruling below.

“This is a victory for the Constitution” said Paul Lawrence of the Pacifica Law Group, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. Lawrence explained: “The Constitution establishes the fundamental rules for how our governmental works. The framers considered what types of laws require a super majority vote for passage. Taxes were not identified as requiring a super majority vote. Fundamental changes in how the government operates have to be accomplished by constitutional amendment, not by passage of a law or initiative.”

Like many lawsuits we will more than likely need to wait for the ruling to be appealed to the State Supreme Court. For today, however, we can celebrate a ruling with the potential to positively influence our work.

No comments: