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Legislature tells court education funding a work in progress

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BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — The Legislature’s annual progress report to the Washington Supreme Court on its work toward fulfilling the court’s order to fix education funding is a mixture of accomplishments and wishes for the future.

The report approved Tuesday begins with a summary of the 2012 McCleary decision, which said lawmakers weren’t meeting their constitutional responsibility to fully pay for basic education. It also detailed much additional money the Legislature has added to the state education budget since then.

It checks off many boxes in the McCleary ruling, including all-day kindergarten, classroom supplies and smaller classes in kindergarten through third grade. It talks about a boost in education spending of about $1.3 billion over the next two years, teacher raises and more money for school construction.

But on other, likely more expensive McCleary-related issues – local tax levy and school pay reform – the report offers ideas and proposed bills but no action.

Last fall, the Supreme Court said the state was in contempt for not making plans to completely answer its orders. The court is expected to decide soon whether to sanction the Legislature.

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