In a short session today, the Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation unanimously approved a report to the Supreme Court describing the 2018 session’s accomplishments towards meeting the McCleary lawsuit. Two major elements of the 16-page report include expediting educator salaries to the 2018-19 school year and establishing a $105 million “penalty account,” which is the result of $100,000-a-day fines. The latter dollars were spent on salary allocation and special education.
The draft 2018 report to the Washington State Supreme Court by the Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation can be downloaded from https://app.leg.wa.gov/CMD/document.aspx?agency=4&year=2018&cid=17163&mid=28360&hid=224267
The report was approved 6-0 (2 excused) and will be sent to the Supreme Court as part of the January 2012 court order requiring reports following the end of legislative sessions. The McCleary plaintiffs will have time to review the report and respond, and the Court will then determine if its order has been satisfied.
Representative Pat Sullivan, D-47, said that even though the report should signal the final installment of education funding to meet McCleary, conversations will be ongoing on education funding and policies in the years to come.
Senator Hans Zeiger, R-25, complimented staff on the thorough report and said that the Legislature had worked hard to get to this point. Echoing Zeiger’s comments, Chair David Frockt, D-46, said the Legislature had made unprecedented investments in K-12 funding, and that public schools funding would be 53 percent of the state’s operating budget in the 2021 and beyond fiscal years. He expressed hope that the Court would take note of that investment.