OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State lawmakers are more than halfway through this year’s two-month legislative session and still haven't taken any substantial, decisive action on their duty to fully fund public schools.
Last fall, the state Supreme Court imposed a $100,000-a-day fine to force lawmakers to finally act on schools funding. That fine now approaches $19 million.
The justices argue that the state needs to pony up $2 billion to $3 billion more for schools, especially when it comes to teacher pay. Right now, districts rely on local levies to keep teachers and, in some cases, to keep the lights on.
Instead of making progress for kids, legislators been spending on much less important things instead. Just this week the State Senate passed SB 6200, to create a new steelhead trout license plate. Proceeds will help fund a conservation program. A worthy goal perhaps, but why do trout rank higher than schools kids?