McCleary Fight: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

The Clock is ticking on the McCleary Lawsuit. The state has already filed its report telling the State Supreme Court how its budget plan amply funds basic education and complies with the 2018 deadline.

The purpose of this website is to show that the state’s claim is not true. As measured by its own yardstick – the state’s Quality Education Council (QEC) cost studies – the state is still not even close to fully funding basic education.

My years of experience analyzing the equity and adequacy of state school finance systems for the U.S. Government Accountability Office and for Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction allowed me to finish the QEC’s work – after the QEC had been quietly eliminated by the state legislature.

Now you can see just how much it costs to fully fund basic education according to the state’s own experts. Now you can see how many teachers, librarians, counselors, nurses, office staff workers, family involvement coordinators, and other personnel should be in each school – and compare these numbers to the staffing numbers in your children’s schools.

I hope a sense of outrage accompanies this knowledge and compels you to take action. Write your news media and state representatives about the huge need for more education funding. Let our voices be heard!

The Alarm Bells warning of poorly funded schools really began ringing in 1999 when professional associations and child-advocacy groups began requesting lawmakers for the money to hire more teachers, education specialists and nurses.

My own advocacy efforts for better school funding began about the same time. Thanks to my work experience and education, I have the necessary expertise to analyze school finance systems.

And so I did, finding that the state’s school funding for school year 2001-02 was extremely inadequate and somewhat inequitable.[1]

Now it’s July 2017, and after nearly two decades of heart-felt pleas from thousands of us public school advocates, we’ve received this response:

A state education budget that does not fully fund Basic Education.

As Thomas Ahearne, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the McCleary law suit, said.