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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Back To Court For Players In Washington School Funding Fight

Aidan Wakely-Mulroney
Flickr -
File photo of The Temple of Justice in Olympia, Washington.

The ongoing fight over school funding in Washington state is heading back to court. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday before the Washington Supreme Court.

The justices have ordered the parties in the so-called McCleary case to appear before them to answer a set of questions such as:

  • What remains to be done to fully fund public schools?
  • How much is it expected to cost?
  • How does the state intend to fund it?

The answers will help the high court decide whether the legislature has satisfied a court order to come up with a “complete plan” to achieve full funding by 2018.
The state argues that laws passed earlier this year constitute that complete plan. For instance, the legislature has pledged to act next year to end the reliance on local taxes to fund schools.

But the plaintiffs in the lawsuit say that’s not enough. The state is currently racking up a $100,000 per day fine for failing to previously satisfy the Washington Supreme Court. Further sanctions are possible.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."