Force lawmakers to live up to McCleary ruling

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The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the state is derelict in underfunding public K-12 education (McCleary vs. Wash., 2012).

The legislature has been found by the court to be in contempt of that court order and has been levied a fine of $100,000 a day as punishment. The total, at last report, was $39.1 million.

Part of that ruling says the state must pay market-share salaries for teachers, as well as other district employees, as part of basic education.

This $100,000 daily fine will be paid by us, the local taxpayers, as well as the newly-interpreted financial obligation to “fully fund” education.

The salary fix alone is estimated to cost us $3.5 billion every two years. Now we’re talking money. Lest you forget, your local assessor will be on the prowl to gather the requisite shekels. (My 995-square-foot domicile was just now reassessed in up-value by 11.5 percent.)

Here’s my take: I propose “we the people” boycott statewide elections on all new levies, bonds and other budget items affected by this ruling until the order is complied with. Justice Susan Owens was quoted saying as much, using, for example, a possible sanction proposed by the plaintiffs: punishing lawmakers by closing school systems until full funding is achieved. (Seattle Times, Sept. 7, 2016.)

Jerry Stadenraus

Moses Lake

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