The Washington State Constitution says "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all students..."
- Seattle School District (now known as Seattle Public Schools) filed
suit against the state to provide the "ample provision" as required by
- The state Supreme Court directed the state to fund basic education
with dependable and regular taxes. It said that forcing schools
districts to rely on levies to fund basic education was
- 1977 - The state legislature passed the Basic Education Act in 1977, which defined "basic education."
of the 1977 Supreme Court decision, the state increased funding of K-12
education so that by 1980, state funding paid for 84.3% of general
operating costs. Local school districts were responsible for only 7.5%
of the needed funds.
the 1980's, K-12 education funding from the state has slowly
diminished. Currently, the state's share of funding has fallen to
63.3%. Local Levy share has increased to 23% of general operating
- Several school districts and organizations file a lawsuit on behalf
of the McCleary and Venema families to compel the state to abide by its
constitutional "paramount duty" to fully fund education for all
- King County Superior Court issues judgement on McCleary v. State,
declaring that the State of Washington was in violation of its
constitutional duty to make ample provision for the education of all
- 2011 - The State appeals the ruling and a hearing was held before the Washington State Supreme Court.
- The Washington State Supreme Court rules unanimously that the State
is violating its constitutional "paramount duty" to amply fund the
education of all K-12 students. As a result, the state is again
promising to add funding for public schools. The state legislature has
until 2018 to amply fund education.
- 2013 - State legislature added some funding which has gone towards making up for cuts made to education in recent years.
legislature allowed school districts to collect more M&O levy money
temporarily to make up for state cuts that had been made over several
years by the state. This is known as the "Levy Lid Lift". The lift
will expire at the end of 2017. The amount of money we can raise
through levies will go down by four percent in 2018. When that happens,
if the state has not increased public funding as ruled in the McCleary
Decision, we will face a significant drop in funding.