Although state lawmakers have made progress in a multiyear effort to fully fund basic education, the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that they are not on track to meet next year’s deadline and will remain in contempt of court.
The high court unanimously ruled this month that it will retain jurisdiction in the case and gave lawmakers another legislative session to get the work done, ordering them to present a report by April 9 detailing the state’s progress. The justices said that while a plan passed by the legislature this past year was in compliance, the time frame for full funding was not.
Lawmakers needed a funded plan in place ahead of a Sept. 1, 2018, deadline. The legislature went into overtime sessions this year in order to approve a plan to increase K-12 funding that allocates billions in new spending over the next four years. The biggest piece of the court order that the legislature had to wrestle with was figuring out how much the state must provide for teacher salaries.
A version of this article appeared in the November 29, 2017 edition of Education Week as Washington State High Court Keeps Legislature in Contempt Over Aid