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Dorn Statement on Supreme Court Order

Today, the Washington state Supreme Court ordered that the state pay $100,000 a day until it produces a plan that will fully fund basic education by 2018. Below is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on the Court’s action.

OLYMPIA — August 13, 2015 — I am very pleased by the State Supreme Court’s order today. A $100,000 a day penalty shows that the Court has made this a priority and that the Legislature can’t keep “kicking the can” on education funding.

In September, I argued that the Legislature should be given one last chance – the 2015 session – to make significant progress toward full funding of basic education.

As the Court wrote today, the Legislature “has repeatedly failed to do so.” The Court wrote that our state constitution:

    imposes only one “paramount duty” upon 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. (Article IX, Section 1)

In April, I unveiled a plan for full funding. It’s based on existing law – House bills 2261 and 2776. In my opinion, it represents the best way for us to achieve full funding and, in the words of our state constitution, to make “ample provision” for a “uniform system” of education to all students.

I agree with the Court and urge Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session of the Legislature so that it can produce a plan for full funding.

I also urge every legislator to do what he/she can to fully understand McCleary v. Washington, as well as House bills 2261 and 2776. On behalf of the state’s 1.1 million students, I’m heartened that the Supreme Court has taken this step. I believe that this will force significant progress to be made.


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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Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
(360) 725-6032 |

Nathan Olson
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 8/13/2015

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