Ever since the McCleary decision, where one elected judge decided the state was not fulfilling its constitutional duty regarding education, there have been newspaper articles, editorials and letters saying the state has a duty to “fully fund” or provide “equal” education to the states children.
Page one of today’s paper in an article attributed to Governor Inslee states “the state’s mandate to fully fund education.”
The Preamble to Article IX Education of the Washington State Constitution states, “It is the paramount duty of 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.”
What is ample provision? How many different definitions are possible?
Go to the National Education Association website and look at funding by student by state. Washington compares very favorably with similar western states like Oregon, California, Colorado and Arizona. Couldn’t that comparison be a standard of “ample provision”?
That definition was left up to one elected judge, who most likely accepted campaign contributions from the teachers union and affirmed by a State Supreme Court of elected Justices who all accept campaign contributions from the teachers union. Isn’t that the definition of corruption?
If the courts have decided our duty extends to “fully fund” or provide “equal” that is not what the constitution says. That is the invention of conflicted judges.
Is there somewhere in this state where a child cannot get 12 years of publicly funded education? Is every school system equal?
No, and they never will be. Lawyers will always be able to find inequities and we will be in court forever.
For people living in a small Eastern Washington community there are a multitude of things that are not equal to living in an urban area like Seattle. If you read the complete text of Article IX there is no standards requirement other that the system be “general and uniform.”
The legislature should have proposed, a long time ago, two constitutional amendments to the people for radification.
In the first one, the election campaigns of candidates for the state Supreme Court to be totally funded by the state (it is hard to imagine a Supreme Court justice who is not appalled by the idea they can accept money from plaintiffs and defendants giving the appearance they have conflicts of interest. Why are the justices themselves not strongly demanding this of the legislature?).
In the second, we have 146 legislators in two houses that should negotiate a clear and specific definition of what “ample provision” means and that definition should not cost us $7 billion dollars to meet.