Sunday, April 3, 2016
By Evan Smith
State Rep. Gerry Pollet says that he expects the State Supreme Court to increase its contempt findings and order the legislature to return to Olympia to provide full financial support for the state’s public schools.
The state already is paying $100,000 per day for not complying with a court order that the legislature provide full support for basic education.
He said Saturday that he expects the court to order the legislature to “return to Olympia to fund our children's constitutional rights to basic education.”
He said that contempt of court findings would be increased because of these factors:
• a failure to have invested in public schools the amount of contempt fines accrued, an amount than the Court had ordered to be set aside for investments in public schools;
• the legislature’s spending $4 million on non-common charter schools, while failing to have even provided public schools with the funds from the accrued contempt fines. “If the Legislature could find lottery funds for non-common charter schools, then it should have first used those funds for public common schools,” Pollet said. “This is a classic contempt of court.”
• the legislature’s saying it “adopted a ‘plan’ to fund public schools by the deadline of fall 2017, which consists of saying the legislature will convene in January, 2017, and miraculously develop and fund a plan providing billions of dollars in new state spending for schools by August.”
• the legislature’s having failed to address the massive loss of levy funds for our school districts, known as the "levy cliff."
Pollet represents the 46th Legislative District, including Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, and north and northeast Seattle.
Evan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org