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Published on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

State Supreme Court challenges Legislature to solve school funding problem – how might it impact cities?

Last week the Supreme Court imposed $100,000 per day fines on the Legislature for failing to solve K-12 school funding problems. Fines will continue to accrue until a plan is adopted to fully fund basic education by 2018.

Governor Inslee responded by calling together legislative leaders for a meeting at SeaTac City Hall on August 17. Afterwards, the Governor indicated there were no immediate plans to call a special session. Instead he and key legislators will continue discussions and it’s unlikely a special session would be called until there is something much closer to a solution. Finding such a solution proved elusive during the past extended legislation session and it’s unclear whether or not the court’s fines will prompt an agreement.

Pressure to adequately fund basic education will continue to jeopardize future appropriations made for other things, including funds needed to support strong cities. AWC will continue to monitor and report on these critical discussions. For background, here’s one of several good articles describing the complicated and important issue.

Even big fine is unlikely to uncork logjam on school funding, lawmakers say, The Olympian, 8/15/15