The Washington state Supreme Court has rejected a challenge by teachers to the legislature’s ability to trim funds that were provided for teacher-training days.
The Washington Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, and several individual teachers, sued the state in 2004 after the legislature cut money for the fiscal 2003 budget for one of three optional “learning-improvement days.”
The teachers argued that the change violated the state’s “paramount duty to provide for a general and uniform system of education” in the state constitution. Teachers also claimed that the change effectively resulted in a cost-of-living increase lower than that required by Initiative 732, which voters passed in 2000.
In reversing a King County Superior Court decision, the state high court ruled Sept. 8 that “learning-improvement days are optional and are not necessarily a component of the basic education the state is obliged to provide to all children.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 21, 2005 edition of Education Week