McCleary victory: Billions for Washington K-12 public schools and students
The 2018 Legislature approved another $1 billion for K-12 educator compensation, as ordered by the Supreme Court in November. That's in addition to the $1 billion for educator salaries that lawmakers approved in 2017.
"We are proud that Washington Education Association members have been at the forefront of the fight for better school funding for decades, including the McCleary court case, which WEA has supported from the start. Our years of hard work and advocacy are paying off for the students of Washington," said WEA President Kim Mead.
The state Supreme Court ruled in June, 2018 that the state is finally in compliance with the court's 2012 McCleary decision. Because of McCleary, state funding for K-12 basic education has increased by billions of dollars.
History of the McCleary Supreme Court case
WEA and many of our locals have been major supporters and funders of the McCleary court case since the beginning more than a decade ago.
In its January, 2012 McCleary decision, the state Supreme Court ordered the state to fully fund K-12 public schools as required by Article IX of the Washington Constitution:
"It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex."
In McCleary, the Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature had failed to fulfill its constitutional obligation to our state's 1.1 million students. The court also retained jurisdiction in the case and ordered the state to report back on its progress in complying with the court's order.
Two years later, the court found the Legislature in contempt for its failure to establish a plan for fully funding K-12 public education by Sept. 1, 2018. The Legislature failed to provide a plan, and the Supreme Court responded by fining the state $100,000 a day.
Along with dozens of local associations, school districts and other plaintiffs, WEA has been been at the forefront of the funding fight since WEA members approved a special dues assessent in 2004. The McCleary case was filed in 2007, and a superior court judge ruled in support in 2010, followed by the Supreme Court's decision in 2012.