BARTON is an
Kutak Rock, LLP
in Spokane. Her
public finance. She can be reached
1. McCleary v. State, 173 Wn. 2d 477, 269 P.3d
2. Order, McCleary v. State, No. 84362-7
(Wash. Aug. 13, 2015).
3. 2016 Report of Joint Select Committee
on Article IX Legislation at 11 (K- 12 funding increased from $13.4 billion during the
2011-13 biennium to $18.2 billion during
the 2015-17 biennium).
4. Seattle School Dist. No. 1 of King Cty. v.
State, 90 Wn. 2d 476, 585 P.2d 71 (1978).
5. In 1974–75, local levies supported roughly
25.6% of schools’ total maintenance and operation budgets. Id. at 524, 585 P.2d at 98.
6. Const. art. IX, § 1.
7. McCleary at 539, 269 P.3d at 258.
9. Id. at 541, 269 P.3d at 259.
10. Order, McCleary v. State, No. 84362-7
(Wash. Sept. 11, 2014).
11. State of Washington’s Memorandum Transmitting the Legislature’s 2016 Post-Budget
Report and Requesting the Lifting of Contempt and End of Sanctions at 2.
12. See Plaintiff’s 2016 Post-Budget Filing.
the Court to lift its monetary sanction
and to dissolve its contempt order.
On the heels of this request, the
McCleary plaintiffs and amici curie responded. The State is still in contempt —
it has no year-by-year phase in plan, has
not made meaningful funding progress,
and has merely “kick[ed] the can down
the road.” 12 According to legislative opponents, E2SSB 6195 merely creates another
funding task force. It is nothing more than
a “plan to a plan.” In their view, the Court’s
only answer is tougher sanctions.
For now, the verdict is out, but one
thing is for certain: Education is our
passport to the future — and when the
storm finally settles, school districts will
have the funding they need to prepare
for it today. NWL