Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Foto February 8: Hope for Improved School Funding

I recently had the honor of representing Highline at a celebration of the historic Washington State Supreme Court decision to affirm the state's constitutional requirement to fully fund basic education. The McCleary Decision, as it is being known, cites the state constitution's clause that it is "the paramount duty" of the state to fund K-12 education. For several years now, Highline has been part of a coalition of more than 150 school districts supporting the fight for ample school district funding. The significance of the McCleary Decision is that the state's highest court defines ample as "more than just adequate" and that the court is maintaining jurisdiction over the legislature until they complete their planned funding increases through 2018.

This news is likely too late to save school district budgets in the short run, and more cuts are expected as we build next year's budget. But without a doubt, we are more likely to be well resourced in the coming years thanks to the court's affirmation of school funding.
With former board member Ben Kodama

The fight for ample school funding has gone on for a long time, and there are some real veterans of the effort. I ran into one at this meeting, former Highline School Board member Ben Kodama. Ben was on the board from 1990 to 1997 and was there both when I started teaching in Highline and in my early days as an administrator. Even though he's been out of active school district work for some time, he came to reap the rewards of many years of advocacy for children, and it was great to see him.

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