It will soon be the start of a new legislative session in Olympia, which, of course, means that the Legislature will take another run at doing the absolute minimum they can do and still claim to be making progress towards their obligation under the McCleary decision.
It also means that there will be a bunch of people - all of the usual suspects - claiming that the McCleary decision isn't just about money.
Let's stop that nonsense right now. The McCleary decision was about money, not reform. Anyone who tells you different is lying. They will claim that McCleary is as much about reform as it is about money. That's simply not true. McCleary is about reform like Moby Dick is about the second mate, Stubb. Yes, he's in there, but he's not central to the narrative. The book would be the same without him. Don't let anyone deceive you: McCleary is about money, not reform. Yes, there was some mention of reform in the decision, but it wasn't central to the decision and the decision would have been the same without it.
Anyone who tries to tell you that McCleary isn't about money is selling something. They are trying to use McCleary as an opening to force through all kinds of reforms, most of which will not improve anything in the classroom. We will see all kinds of silly reforms that have been proven ineffective if not damaging - like using student test scores as part of teacher evaluations, grading schools A-F, anything having to do with "teacher quality" as if it were quantifiable - put forward in the name of McCleary. It's all false.
So let's get clear and stay clear. The litigants of the McCleary decision sued the state for failing to fund public education - not for failing to reform it. They won because the legislature had failed in its duty to fund public education - not some duty to reform it. The Court and the constitution require the state to fund education - there is no constitutional requirement to reform it. The legislature, if they are going to comply with McCleary and the constitution must fund public education - they don't have to reform it. McCleary was entirely about funding and not at all about reform. Get clear about this and stay clear about this.
The McCleary decision was about money not reform.
If anyone tries to tell you different, then you get in their face and call them a liar. Right now, that's the Seattle Times and Rodney Tom.