McCleary case a time bomb
The McCleary school funding case may blow up on Sept. 3 when the Washington Supreme Court considers whether to hold the Legislature in contempt of court.
The McCleary lawyers advised the court to fine legislators, fund K-12 an extra $1 billion annually before funding any other programs, sell state property, or even close the schools completely. Washington’s ex-governors – three Democrats and two Republicans – say back off, avoid a constitutional crisis, and let the political branches of state government work out appropriate levels of taxing and spending.
Several courts around the nation, in similar cases, have been wise enough to let legislators and governors decide what ample funding for schools is. Let’s hope our supremes come to their senses.
As to Initiative 1351, the governor’s office estimates it will cost about $1 billion per year. That’s a one-cent increase in the sales tax, or deep cuts to colleges, prisons, health care, etc. And many studies of class-size reduction conclude that it does little or nothing to improve learning.
Google “McCleary case,” “class size reduction,” “Washington State Institute for Public Policy” and “Office of Financial Management” for more information.