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Mark Gardner | January 5, 2012

The Supreme Court... so now what?


6vf1djBy Mark

You've probably read about it: The Washington State Supreme court stated in an 85-page opinion that the State of Washington has not met it's constitutional obligation to fully fund its public schools. (Here's the actual majority ruling in the case, officially McCleary v. State.

So now what? The court intends to "keep a close eye" on the legislature. I guess I need help understanding what this means and how this serves as an example of the system at work. So, the state has until 2018 to comply. If they don't comply, then what?

The same kinds of rulings are appearing elsewhere, as pointed out in a blog I read frequently, where accomplished teachers in California talk state and national ed policy. I learned there at InterACT, through a post by David B. Cohen, about Lobato v. State of Colorado wherein the court similarly ruled that the state had failed to meet its obligation. Cohen's post is worth a read, as he distills out the critical language in the Colorado court's ruling. Like many of us, Cohen is still watching Colorado, since its state school board has now voted in favor of appealing that court ruling. 

I'm sure more certain information about "what next" will manifest soon. (Actually... who am I kidding, the waters are certain to get a whole lot muddier before they get any clearer.)

What do you know? What are your thoughts? What is the next line in our conversation about this important ruling? My first step: put those student essays down for a few minutes to pore over our State Court's opinion; I hope to find some compelling language...we'll see.


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I wish it had been a stronger ruling. Six years? Sounds like "Whenever you get around to it, if you can..."

In six years my daughter will be in eighth grade, in buildings that are threadbare, with a teaching population that's tired but trying to hang in there. Will there suddenly be a great golden pot at the end of the rainbow because the deadline's arrived? Doubt it.

Six years is a long to comply with a court order.

NJ has been in a similar position for decades, and it hasn't stopped Trenton from continuing to deny urban districts anything resembling equitable funding...

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