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Court Levies Huge Fines on Wash. State Legislature

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Declaring that state lawmakers have failed to fix an unconstitutional system for financing public schools, Washington state's top court last week imposed a daily $100,000 penalty on the legislature until it makes firmer commitments to increasing teacher salaries and reducing class sizes.

The order is effective immediately, although the court said that if Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, calls a special session and lawmakers pass legislation that commits the state more heavily to reducing class size in K-3 and expanding all-day kindergarten, that daily fine may ultimately be "abated."

The order is the culmination of a political struggle that began in 2012, when the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the system for funding K-12 violated the state constitution.

Vol. 35, Issue 01, Page 4

Published in Print: August 19, 2015, as Court Levies Huge Fines on Wash. State Legislature
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