Washington Supreme Court Fines State $100K Per Day For Underfunding Education
Here's what the Washington state constitution reads:
“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.”
Here's what King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick wrote in Feb. 2010 in the case of McCleary v. State of Washington, which held the state to that constitutional promise:
“State funding is not ample, it is not stable, and it is not dependable.”
Here's what the Washington state supreme court wrote in January 2012 upon affirming that ruling and maintaining jurisdiction over the case:
“This court cannot idly stand by as the Legislature makes unfulfilled promises for reform.”
Here's a prescient prediction from Thomas Ahearne, the winning attorney for McCleary, whom I interviewed for a feature, “Paramount Duty,” in the 2012 issue of Washington Super Lawyers magazine:
“Our Supreme Court has ordered our Legislature to do something that's hard, very hard, with their public schools, and we'll see if they do it promptly or if they drag their feet and stall. [Smiling] I have a good guess as to what they're going to do.”
And here's what the Washington state supreme court ordered today:
Effective today, the court imposes a $100,000 per day penalty on the State for each day it remains in violation of this court's order ...
Who said the law was dull?