Attorney General asks state Supreme Court to end sanctions over education funding

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(Photo: KCPQ-TV)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Attorney General Bob Ferguson says the state is on track to fulfill its constitutional requirement to properly fund education and has asked the state Supreme Court to drop a contempt order and lift daily sanctions imposed last year.

On Aug. 13, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court ruled it would fine the Legislature $100,000 per day for violating the court’s McCleary decision on fully funding education. The fines began immediately and are to be refunded when the Legislature passes a “complete plan” to fully fund K-12 education by the 2017-18 school year.

Ferguson filed a memo with the high court on Wednesday alongside a bipartisan legislative report detailing the Legislature’s progress this year on education funding.

The justices have held the state in contempt over the Legislature’s failure to make a plan for resolving the remaining issues over paying the full costs of basic education, while ending its overreliance on local tax levies.

This year’s report to the court does outline a plan the Legislature passed for finishing the work, although that plan does not say exactly where lawmakers will find the rest of the money they need. The coalition that sued the state over education funding has 30 days to respond.

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