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Statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the Supreme Court’s McCleary order:
September 11 — Today, the Supreme Court released its most recent order pertaining to McCleary v. Washington, the 2012 decision which held that the state isn’t adequately funding basic education. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the order.

I’m pleased that the Supreme Court held the state in contempt. It should come as no surprise: Very simply, contempt means that the state has refused to comply with a direct order of the Court. In January 2014, the Court told the state to produce a plan to achieve full funding.

The state failed to do that.

I think it’s clear, however, that contempt means something more. The state is continuing to violate our constitution. Article IX, Section 1 states clearly that an ample provision for the education of all students is the state’s “paramount duty.” Thirty years ago, the Court ruled that the state wasn’t meeting that requirement. And the Court reaffirmed that two years ago in the McCleary decision.

The oath that all elected officials – which includes legislators, the Governor and me – say when we take office is also clear: We must “support … the Constitution and laws of the state of Washington.”

Legislators have failed to do that.

The Court should have been specific about the ramifications of not making adequate progress on full funding.

I would have been more firm.

But I agree with the Court that the state needs to see what happens in 2015. Both the state’s attorney and the Legislature acknowledge that the coming legislative session is a crucial year, a Super Bowl for full funding.

Now the state needs to get to work. It needs to make significant gains in funding to meet the 2018 deadline. I hope that happens.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 9/11/2014

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