. . . At a Friday Seattle City Club forum, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, and Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, said the Legislature needs to raise more money to meet its McCleary obligations. "The McCleary ruling was all about education funding," Sullivan said.
At the same meeting, however, there was a different response from two influential Republicans.
But at the same forum, Senate Majority Coalition Caucus Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, said the McCleary ruling was not necessarily about funding, but about reforms to fix the education system. And they contended that Legislature should meet all of the McCleary obligations first before mapping out budgets for other state programs such as social services. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, objects, saying Republicans would likely be unwilling to increase taxes to preserve social services.
As it suggests in the article this sounds like the stalemate we witnessed last year. More of the same will not result in additional funding coming from this session. That was reinforced for me listening to this KUOW.org interview of Senator Litzow, Senate Education Chair. He shares how hard it is to reach consensus with 147 legislators especially in a short session. He also reinforces the point that any new money will include additional reforms to fix a failing system. So, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds, but it looks like the recent Court response may not be sufficient to create the heat necessary for finding additional revenue to meet the expectation for full funding of basic education.