August 31, 2009

Washington schools fight for funding reform

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Washington State is among the latest to sue over public school financing, reports Linda Shaw of the Seattle Times. A coalition of parents, teachers, 30 school districts and the state’s largest teachers union have banded together to uphold what they are calling a constitutional duty to provide funds for public schools.

The lawsuit goes to trial today in  Seattle, a whopping 32 years after the state Supreme Court demanded that lawmakers design a way to fund basic education for all children. While state dollars still provide the majority of education funds, schools have heavily relied on local tax levies, donations and fundraisers. Plaintiffs say they have watched the gap rapidly widen between what the state provides, and what the schools need.

According to a National Access Network map, which provides state-by-state info, 45 out of 50 U.S. states have experienced school funding litigation.

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