Thursday, January 9, 2014

It just got hotter . . .

My intent this evening was to blog about a bill that Superintendent Dorn is presenting to raise the revenue needed for the state to meet the funding obligations of SHB 2776 and the Supreme Court's findings in the McCleary case.  He has also this year sent a supplemental budget request to the legislature to increase public school funding by approximately $544 million.
Following the news release of Dorn's bill, the Supreme Court released their response to the legislature's findings on how they are meeting the requirements to achieve full funding by 2018 that I blogged about here.  From this Tacoma News Tribune article you will see that the court is not in agreement with what has been accomplished and has raised the heat in a year when everything we have heard is that there would be no new funding for public schools.

Coming four days before the Legislature begins its 2014 session, the court's latest order responds to the work lawmakers did in 2013, when they budgeted an extra $1 billion for basic education.

But that fell short in most categories of recommendations by a task force, the court noted. Eight of nine justices signed the order, calling for lawmakers to write a complete plan by April for phasing in billions of dollars of extra funding by 2018.

It's clear that "the pace of progress must quicken," the court wrote. 

"We have no wish to be forced into entering specific funding directives to the State, or, as some high courts have done, holding the legislature in contempt of court," the court said, hinting at possible ways it could step up pressure on lawmakers. "But, it is incumbent upon the state to demonstrate, through immediate, concrete action, that it is making real and measurable progress, not simply promises."

You can check out the Court's response here.  It is only nine pages and well worth the read.  They use straight language in conveying the message that action in the last session did not meet the Court's expectations and that change and new money is expected.  They cite transportation, MOOCs, and salaries as examples of not meeting expectations.

Read more here:

1 comment:

Scott Mitchell said...

Well another start in the right direction but I will not be convinced that anything is going to change until it happens. Eventually the supreme court will have to hold the state in contempt and then maybe something will happen. It is a frustrating continuing battle that seems it will not end. The most frustrating thing is that they keep promising and then nothing. Time will tell. This is obviously a positive step but is the heat on?...not sure.