Dorn Supports New McCleary Motion by Plaintiffs
OLYMPIA — November 20, 2015 — Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn Friday expressed strong support for a motion filed by the plaintiffs in the McCleary v. Washington case Wednesday, and said his office expects to file papers with the Supreme Court in support of the motion.
This new motion is an effort by the plaintiffs to encourage the Court to tell the Legislature now what sanctions the Court will order in the likely event the Legislature doesn’t come up with a plan to fully fund schools in the next session.
“The plaintiffs are right,” said Dorn. “The sanctions the Court imposed in August did not get the State’s attention. It is time to force the Governor and Legislature to act.”
The plaintiffs argue that the upcoming short session will be the Legislature’s last meaningful chance to put together a funding plan that will meet full constitutional compliance by the start of the 2017-18 school year. So the Court needs to tell the Legislature before January what will happen if the Legislature doesn’t come up with a funding plan during the short session.
The motion is very similar to briefs Dorn filed with the Court in August 2014 and July 2015, in which he urged the Court would enjoin funding for nonessential state services if the Legislature did not make meaningful progress on a funding plan.
Dorn supports multiple strategies to force the state to meet its constitutional obligations. Earlier this month he asked Attorney General Bob Ferguson for a formal opinion on whether local levy money can be used to pay the salaries of staff who provide basic education services.
“The constitution is clear, and the Court has been clear,” said Dorn. “What is also clear is the fact that Governor Inslee and the legislature are not taking their constitutional obligations seriously. It’s time to compel action.”
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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