State Asks Washington Supreme Court to Retain Jurisdiction in Adequacy Case


Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Washington ruled that the state was in violation of Art. IX, § 1 of the state constitution because it had not provided “ample” funding for the basic education to which all students are entitled. McCleary v. State.  In its decision, the court decided to retain jurisdiction in order to monitor compliance and to “foster[] dialogue and cooperation between coordinate branches of state government in facilitating the constitutionally required reforms.” It directed the parties to provide further briefing on the form that this jurisdiction should take, i.e. oversight by the trial court, the supreme court, or a special master or oversight entity.

On March 12, the state filed a brief informing the court that in response to its decision, the legislature had formed a joint select committee for the purpose of communicating on an on-going basis with the court on school funding issues. The state pledged to submit a report to the court at the conclusion of every legislative session from now until 2018 that will report on legislative action being taken to comply with constitutional requirements. The brief asks the court to retain jurisdiction itself and not to delegate jurisdiction to a lower court or to appoint a special master.

Plaintiffs have until April 16, 2012 to file a brief setting forth their position on these issues.

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