Supreme Court Rules Washington Failed to Fund Education

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the state has failed to properly fund basic K-12 education, violating the state Constitution, and has ordered the Legislature to fill the void in the next six years. The ruling was issued Thursday (1/5/12). A coalition of school districts, parents, teachers and community groups won a lawsuit in King County Superior Court in February 2010. Judge John Erlick ruled the state was violating its constitution by not fully paying for basic education. The state appealed, saying Erlick reached beyond the high court’s previous ruling on this issue in 1978. The high court ruling reads the state “has not complied” with its constitutional duty to make “ample provision for the education of all children in Washington.” However, the court acknowledges that the legislature passed a reform package in 2009 which, if fully funded, would fill the void in funding basic education. The court has set a deadline of 2018 for the Legislature to come up with a plan pay for basic education.

Click here to read the ruling.

Click here for a statement on the ruling from State Superintendent Randy Dorn.

Click here for a statement on the ruling from Governor Chris Gregoire.