I Must Be Blind

I must be blind because I can't see what the Seattle Times editorial board sees when they look at the legislature's response to the McCleary decision.

They say that the McCleary ruling has already done a lot of good. I'm not seeing that. What good has this ruling done? The legislature is no closer to fully funding public K-12 education now than they were when the ruling was made. So what good has the ruling done, Seattle Times?

They say that the "lawmakers have done everything the original McCleary ruling asked them to do" Ummmm, except adequately fund education. I think they missed that one little bit. It wasn't a minor part of the ruling, either. It was, you know, the heart of the matter.

They say that the legislature has launched a vigorous debate about education reform - which is a huge sideshow since it has nothing to do with the McCleary ruling. The Court didn't order them to do that. The Court couldn't order them to do that. The Court can only order them to do what the Constitution requires, and that's pay for education, not reform it. If they want to reform it, they can do that on their own time after they have their work done. Oh, and by the way, Seattle Times, launching a debate - no matter how vigorous - is not action; it's talk.

The Seattle Times claims that "Legislative leaders plan to beef up K-12 spending by $3 billion, to $7 billion, by the 2017-2018 school year" Really? I haven't seen that plan. Has anyone else seen that plan? Why didn't the legislative leaders share that plan with the Supreme Court? It would have kept them out of a a lot of trouble. Oh, I know why no one has seen this plan and it hasn't been shared with the Court, because it doesn't exist. The Seattle Times invented it. It is a lie.

Here's another lie from the Seattle Times: "Lawmakers have pumped $1 billion into education so far" Actually, no. $400 million of that $1 billion came out of education before it went into education, so they haven't pumped that much into education. They may have pumped that much around education, but not into it.

Oh, one more lie from the Seattle Times: "they haven’t missed a deadline". This is a tricky lie because the legislature has provided documents that they call reports by the due dates, but the reports have not contained the elements required by the Court, so, sorry, but that doesn't count as making the deadline. I guess by the time they reach the editorial board the writers at the Times lose touch with the idea of deadlines.

The Times says that the Court is being unreasonable when it expects the legislature to come up with a plan by April - this would be the plan that the Times says they already have. April - three years after the case was decided - is too soon because the legislature only debates their biennial budget in even-numbered years, and next April is in an odd-numbered year. For some reason the Times thinks that the legislature can't discuss big money issues except within the context of the biennial budget - unless, of course, Boeing holds a gun to their heads and shakes its bag. In that case they can make a $9 billion decision in a twenty-minute special session. Oh, and, in case the Times didn't notice, the legislature HAD a biennial budget process this year and didn't even touch on how to comply with McCleary. But, the Times says, It Just Doesn't Work That Way. I don't know about anyone else, but "It just doesn't work that way" is not a legitimate rationale anywhere I know.
The Times says that talk of a contempt citation is the Court's ham-handed way to begin a dialogue. Honey, it has been three years. This is not the beginning of the dialogue. The Court isn't starting this fight; the Court is just looking to end it.


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