paramount duty

Paramount Duty

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

The Stanford Center Auditorium

2445 3rd Ave, South

Seattle 98134

In January of 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court decided in a decision titled McCleary versus the State of Washington that the State was not adequately funding basic education.

The Supreme Court ruled that the state had not met its “paramount duty” in providing adequate funding for schools which includes school buildings, maintenance, adequate class space, classroom resources, teacher/student staff support and transportation.

Two years later, in 2014, after two State Legislative sessions when the legislature failed to even provide the court with “a complete plan for fully implementing its program of basic education” by the 2017-18 school year, the Washington State Supreme Court declared the State Legislature in contempt of court.

The Court decided to wait until the conclusion of the 2015 Legislative Session, which begins in January and usually last for two months, to impose sanctions if the legislators do not comply with the court order.

It will be an interesting time in January and many have concerns that to fully fund education some of our representatives will want to cut corporate reform style backroom deals to agree to a bill that satisfies the requirements stated in the Washington State Constitution.

The Seattle Council PTSA, the Seattle Education Association and the League of Women Voters are sponsoring an event that will be interesting and very informative titled Paramount Duty.

The speakers:

Tom Ahearne, the trial lawyer for the plaintiffs in the McCleary case, will speak on how Washington State is not meeting its “Paramount Duty” to fully fund education. He will also talk about the latest “contempt” decision on holding our legislators accountable.

Andrew Nicholas from the WA State Budget and Policy Center will talk about the challenges of financing basic education and the reforms to the revenue system that can make that possible.

It is free and open to the public but you will need to reserve a ticket at eventbrite to ensure you have a seat in the auditorium

Dora Taylor