On September 24, the Snoqualmie Valley School Board voted unanimously to approve a special resolution. The purpose of this resolution is to send a strong message, from the Snoqualmie Valley schools, compelling the state Legislature to fully fund education for all children in Washington — without further delay.
Resolution No. 817 reminds the Washington Legislature of its responsibility to uphold the state constitution which mandates “it is the paramount duty of the State to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.” The resolution also implores lawmakers to comply with the McCleary decision, in which the state Supreme Court ruled that the state was violating the constitutional mandate to fully fund basic education. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled, “The State must amply provide for the education of all Washington children as the State’s first and highest priority before any other State programs or operations.”
This year, due to the Legislature’s continuing delays and failure to produce the court-ordered ample funding plan, the Supreme Court imposed a contempt sanction against the Legislature.
“Our state legislators believe they have made progress in their moves toward ‘amply funding basic education’ as is required by our state constitution; and indeed, they have made some progress. But the reality is that the increased funding, agreed upon during the recent legislative session, comes nowhere close to making up for more than thirty years of woefully inadequate education funding,” stated School Board President Geoff Doy. “It is extremely disappointing that it has taken a Supreme Court directive to persuade our legislators to do what is right for our children. It is equally disappointing that they are dragging their feet in complying with that Supreme Court directive. It is time to stop making excuses and fully fund our children's education; our children are our future and the state Legislature is selling them short.”
Snoqualmie Valley Superintendent Joel Aune added, “Even now, within the context of the McCleary decision and subsequent Supreme Court ruling, the Legislature continues to ignore the law and its responsibility to fund basic education. As a result, school districts have been forced to utilize local levy monies to fund what is clearly the responsibility of the state. It is both disappointing and concerning that the Legislature continues to defy the state constitution and disobey the law. The education of children is both a legal and moral responsibility — a responsibility of which the Legislature has been sadly deficient for many years now. There is no more time to delay, and there should be no more excuses. The children and young people of this state deserve better.”
The Snoqualmie Valley School District is one of 430 organizations (including over 200 school districts) that is part of the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS). The group originally brought forth the McCleary case, arguing that the state Legislature has been negligent in its responsibility to fully fund public education. NEWS members across the state are encouraging lawmakers to uphold the McCleary decision, which requires the state to fully fund education by 2018.
Parents: In the eyes of our legislators, the voice of a parent, voter, or student can make a powerful impact! If you agree that the Legislature needs to follow state law and fully fund education, please take a moment to contact your legislators asking for their attention to this important topic and support for all Washington State students and schools.
Here is contact information for the 5th Legislative District lawmakers, who represent most of the citizens in our school district: