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Category Archives: Education Funding

State falls short on McCleary and K-12 school funding

In its 2012 McCleary decision, the Washington Supreme Court ordered state officials to abide by the Constitution and fully fund K-12 public schools as the state’s “paramount duty.”

The Court set a 2018 deadline, giving legislators six years to phase in the additional funding. Alarmed by the Legislature’s lack of progress toward that goal, the Court ordered the Legislature to write and submit a full funding plan during the 2014 legislative session – which legislators failed to do.

“There was no political agreement reached either among the political caucuses or between the legislative chambers on what the full (McCleary school funding) implementation plan should look like,” legislators wrote in an April report.

Or, as one headline put it: “Despite Deadline, Still No Education Funding Plan from Washington State Legislators.”

In response, the Supreme Court ordered state officials to explain why they shouldn’t be held in contempt of court for failing to develop a funding plan.

The hearing is Sept. 3, and as it gets closer, politiciansnewspaper pundits and other non-educators are making excuses for the Legislature’s inaction and calling for additional delays. Meanwhile, Washington’s per-pupil spending ranks 43rd out of 50 states, we’re 47th in class size and educators have gone six years without a state COLA.

WEA members say it’s time to stop shortchanging our children and public schools. Washington students deserve a quality public education, not more delays and excuses.

“The Supreme Court’s deadline for fully funding public education is 2018,” WEA President Kim Mead said earlier this year. “At this pace, the Legislature won’t meet the requirement to amply fund education for another 20 years. Our kids can’t wait that long. Their futures are at stake.”

To quote one newspaper editorial: “Vague promises are no longer enough.”

WEA and dozens of local unions are members of the coalition that filed the McCleary case five years ago.


WEA 2014 legislative session report

Major win on teacher evaluations; lawmakers again fall short on COLA and class size WEA members in Olympia to lobby for COLAs and lower class sizes. The WEA Board of Directors adopted three goals for the 2014 legislative session: Restore the educator COLA, reduce class sizes and promote and empower WEA members as the voice ofContinue Reading

Olympia fails again on COLA, class-size reduction

Washington’s new supplemental state budget does nothing to reduce the state’s severely overcrowded class sizes or to restore voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for teachers and other school employees. The new state budget does not restore educator COLAs, and it does not reduce overcrowded class sizes. Instead of fulfilling their constitutional paramount duty to fully fundContinue Reading

WEA still opposed to mandated test scores in teacher evaluations

Email your legislators and tell them why you oppose the mandated use of state test scores in teacher evaluations and then sign this online petition. Or call your legislators’ offices and leave a message. You can look up their direct phone numbers here (call your two state reps and your state senator). Or call the Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000Continue Reading

Despite defeat, Senate introduces another evaluation bill

More than 5,500 educators have signed an online petition opposing the test mandate, and more than 1,100 have emailed their legislators since Sunday. (Click here to email your legislators.) Even though the state Senate already killed a teacher evaluation bill by an overwhelming vote, Republican Sen. Andy Hill introduced yet another evaluation bill Monday – with noContinue Reading

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