In the McCleary versus Washington state ruling, the state Supreme Court directed the state Legislature to provide ample, equitable and dependable basic education funding. Because the state has failed to fulfill its constitutional obligation to fully fund education, Superintendent Randy Dorn has brought a lawsuit against multiple school districts including Seattle Public Schools.Additionally, the district is likely to be working with the other districts named in the suit in making a coordinated statement.
The lawsuit contends that the district is illegally using its local levy funds to pay a portion of teacher salaries. The district is reviewing the complaint and will be working to coordinate with other districts on the suit.
Our district negotiates fair, competitive wages to attract and retain quality educational professionals. We will continue to locally support and promote student achievement while we wait for the Legislature to fully fund education and fulfill their duty.
end of update.
From The News Tribune:
The state of Washington is a defendant in the suit filed Tuesday by Randy Dorn, Washington’s outgoing state superintendent of public instruction. The school districts named in the suit include Tacoma Public Schools and the Puyallup School District, along with school districts in Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, Bellevue and Everett.
Dorn, who isn’t seeking re-election this fall, said he filed the lawsuit out of frustration that the Legislature isn’t doing more to comply with court orders to fully fund public schools.
His issue is that districts are using levies to pay for supplemental pay for teachers and that leads to the State not fully funding basic education. He wants courts to order districts to stop using that funding and that, in turn, will make the districts demand action from the Legislature.
Why did he file?
Only an order of that magnitude will prompt the Legislature this year to find a way to fund market-rate teacher salaries, instead of relying on local school districts to make up the difference, he said.
In a statement, Tacoma Public Schools officials said they “understand the goal behind the lawsuit; however, we completely disagree with the approach.”