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