Legislators need to listen to state Supreme Court’s words | Editorial

The state Supreme Court last week told state legislators to get off the dime on education — and spend it. It’s a message lawmakers should heed.

The court ruled in 2012 that the Legislature was violating the state constitution because not enough money was going to education. The justices gave the Legislature until 2018 to fix the problem. The court estimated the price tag at somewhere between $3 billion and $4 billion.

The court noted that while the Legislature is making gains, they aren’t good enough. The $982 million allocated to K-12 education in the 2013-15 budget is only a 6.7 percent increase over the constitutionally inadequate level of funding.

Clearly, the court has concerns that the state will get to the $3 billion to $4 billion level given that there are only two more full budget cycles before it must close the gap by the end of 2018.

Lawmakers have been put on notice that improving education funding must be met. It won’t be easy. The sooner we have that discussion in earnest, the better.

– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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