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State Supreme Court to Legislators: Find a Way to Fully Fund Education

Posted by Kim Justice at Jan 10, 2014 12:45 AM |
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Today the State Supreme Court issued an order to lawmakers to step-up their efforts to fully funding public schools by 2018 by demonstrating "through immediate, concrete action, that [the state] is making real and measurable progress, not simply promises.” 

As the court pointed out, the state’s initial investment of $1 billion last session is meaningful, but insufficient. It is merely a drop in the bucket compared to our full funding obligation of $4.5 billion per biennium (see graphic).

 drop

Additionally, the court order finds that the state has fallen short in addressing teacher pay, referencing the suspension of cost-of-living increases. Investing in teachers is fundamental to quality education, and is estimated to cost an additional $1 billion per year. 

The court orders lawmakers to submit a plan by the end of April detailing how they will fully fund basic education.

As we stated in our brief, A Paramount Duty: Funding Education for McCleary and Beyond,the state must fulfill its obligation to fully fund public schools (including increased pay for teachers), while also maintaining key investments in health care, public safety, and affordable college. There is no getting around it now—legislators must raise new revenue to meet this challenge. 

 

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Save the Date

Our Budget Matters 2016 Policy Conference will take place on Wednesday, November 16. More details coming soon. 

Watch the Poverty Forum Video

If you missed the half-day Poverty Forum that we co-hosted with Partners for Our Children in May 2016, you can watch it on YouTube now. It features a range of speakers and panelists talking about policy solutions for addressing income inequality and poverty in our state.

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Our Legislative Agenda

Our agenda for the 2015-2017 biennium calls for an equitable, sustainable revenue system in addition to state investments that: promote a world-class education system; sustain a strong middle class; produce living-wage jobs, and ensure that all Washingtonians have equal opportunity to get ahead. 

Testimonies in Olympia

We testified in support of a number of important bills during the 2016 legislative session. Take a look:

  • Our testimony (at the 23:23 minute mark) on the House Bill that would take a two-generation approach to preventing poverty 
  • Our testimony (at the 1:54:09 mark) on the House bill focused on aerospace-related tax breaks
  • Our House testimony (at the 9:25 mark) and Senate testimony (at the 1:44:54 mark) on the two-generation approach to poverty prevention bill 

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