Monday, August 04, 2014

Update on McCleary and Fully-Funding K-12 Education in Washington State

From Washington State Budget&Policy Center:

Today, Pacifica Law Group filed an amicus brief with the Washington State Supreme Court on our behalf that makes it clear that legislators cannot responsibly address the requirements of the McCleary decision to fully fund education without raising new revenue.

Joining us as co-signers on the brief are Centerstone, Equity in Education Coalition, Eldercare Alliance, Solid-Ground, Statewide Poverty Action Network and students from the University of Washington.

In the amicus brief we argue that the math doesn’t pencil out when you try to fully fund basic education without new revenue. It details the devastating impact of potential budget cuts on students, low-income families, communities of color, supports for older adults and children, and more.

Full statement at their website.

Read the full amicus brief here.

They get right to the point at the beginning of the brief: it's been three legislative sessions, modest movement and no real funding or plan by the 2018 court deadline.

"To meet the 2018 deadline, and to sustain long term funding for education and other essential state functions and obligations, the Legislature must reform the existing state revenue system."

"Even accounting for increased revenue driven by the economic recovery, there will not be sufficient funds to maintain state services at their current levels in the 2015-2017 biennial budget, let along additional revenue to get the State on track to meet the 2018 McCleary deadline.


Charlie Mas said...

I don't know why it takes all of these big time lawyers to state a truth that is obvious to anyone with third-grade math skills.

I don't know why the legislature continues to live in denial about this truth. They have tried the denial path for three sessions and it hasn't gotten them anywhere.

It's time for people to realize that the things they want cost money and that they are going to have to pay for them.

Charlie Mas said...

The ex-governors of the state have added their amicus brief in which they ask the Court to continue to be lenient with the legislature - at least until after the 2015 budget session.

You know, because leniency has worked so well so far.

I wonder what other law-breakers the governors think should be allowed several years to comply with the law, even if they don't improve compliance for the entire first half of the leniency period instead of making steady progress as ordered and promised.

I'm imagining someone who was collecting an aged and dependent's aunt's Social Security payments. But rather than spending the money for the aunt's benefit, the person was spending the money on themselves and forcing the aunt to live in impoverished squalor. They are caught and convicted, but plead with the Court that they really need the aunt's Social Security to make ends meet for themselves. So instead of going to jail (as you would expect) and instead of someone else appointed Guardian, the Court gives the person six years to start using the Social Security money to maintain the aunt and only asks that steady progress be made towards that goal over the course of the six years. Three years pass and the aunt's maintenance has not been materially changed. Who would we ask for yet more leniency from the Court? Apparently all of our ex-governors and the state legislature. Would you?

Anonymous said...

Here is the one filed by Rob McKenna on behalf of past governors:

I'm baffled why the Governors organized to submit this.

"Though the Governors served the people of Washington during different eras and from varying political perspectives,they all agree that the Legislature must act to amply fund education and put children first,and that the Court should delay any further action on its Show-Cause order until after the 2015 Budget

HUH? WHY delay any further action on the Show-Cause order?


Watching said...

I agree, Eden. Very disappointed to see a letter from the governors.

The amicus brief listed multiple ways to create a new revenue stream. We're looking at lack of political will.

Watching said...

Leniency for the legislators...while the legislators continue to pound teachers with a hammer. Makes sense (sarcastic).

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reading the Governors' brief, I have to shake my head.

-"the focus has shifted to short-term wrangling over long-term goals." What "long-term goals?" To fully-fund education that was NOT being done during their own terms? If they are speaking of the disagreements between Dems/Reps on how to get there, they should butt out. That's for the Legislature and the Court to get done.

Not so helpful to my mind.

Watching said...

Let's not forget that Inslee called a special session for Boeing. Frank Chopp was amongst the top individuals that provided Boeing with the biggest taxbreak in history ($8.7B) in 3 days--all of this behind closed doors.

Frank Chopp is up for re-election. Where is his leadership? What is his position?

Inslee has been a huge disappointment and his support is waining. Will we be hearing from Inslee? Don't hold your breath.

Please consider contacting Frank Chopp's campaign about this issue.
Chopp represents Seattle's 43rd Legislative District.