McCleary v. Washington
|McCleary v. State of Washington|
|Court||Washington Supreme Court|
|Decided||January 5, 2012|
|Citation(s)||269 P.3d 227; 173 Wash. 2d 477; 276 Ed. Law Rep. 1011|
|Appealed from||King County Superior Court|
|Chief judge||Gerry L. Alexander|
|Associate judges||Tom Chambers, Mary Fairhurst, Charles W. Johnson, James M. Johnson, Barbara Madsen, Susan Owens, Debra L. Stephens, Charles K. Wiggins|
|Decision by||Debra L. Stephens|
|Concurrence||Charles W. Johnson, Tom Chambers, Susan Owens, Mary E. Fairhurst, Charles K. Wiggins, Gerry L. Alexander|
|Concur/dissent||Barbara A. Madsen, joined by James M. Johnson|
Mathew and Stephanie McCleary et al., v. State of Washington (short form: McCleary v. Washington), commonly known as the McCleary Decision, was a lawsuit against the State of Washington. The case alleged that the state, in the body of the state legislature, had failed to meet the state constitutional duty (in Article IX, Section 1) "to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders."
King County Superior Court
Judge John Erlick sided with the Plaintiffs, stating that the State was indeed failing to adequately provide for basic education, saying "State funding is not ample, it is not stable, and it is not dependable."
Washington State Supreme Court
On January 5th, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed with the opinion of the King County Superior Court that the State was not fulfilling its obligation to fully fund education in the state, with some justices dissenting in part on the question of continued judicial oversight.
In the 2013 Legislative Session, the State Legislature increased school funding by 11.4% to a total of $15.2 billion. They also passed three major reform bills in an attempt to further comply with the McCleary ruling.
Despite these changes, the Supreme Court did not find the State in compliance. On January 9, 2014 the Supreme Court issued an order setting a deadline of April 30, 2014 for the legislature to come up with an adequate funding plan.
On August 13th, 2015, the Supreme Court ordered a $100,000 a day fine. This money was to be placed in a special account that would be used to benefit public education. The Court also urged the Governor at the time, Jay Inslee, to call a special session of the legislature to pass a funding plan to bring the State into compliance.
On June 7th, 2018, the Supreme Court declared the state had fully covered the funding of basic education, lifting the contempt order and $100,000 a day fine, ending any judicial oversight of the case.
On April 11th, 2019, at least one school district (Spokane Public Schools) announced significant staffing cuts tied directly to the McCleary decision. Although the decision increased state funding of school districts it also reduced funding from local levies resulting in a projected shortfall of almost $31 Million for the district in the 2019-20 school year. The net staff reduction of about 8% represented 325 paid positions, impacted either through layoff or reduction in hours. 
- O'Sullivan, Joseph (2017-01-27). "McCleary fix? Senate GOP wants to change teacher pay, how schools are funded". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2017-05-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Education - Preamble.", Washington State Constitution, art. IX, sec. 1, 1889-08-23, retrieved 2017-05-06 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Court's Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law", King County Superior Court, CONCLUSION, 2010-02-04, retrieved 2019-01-29 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- McCleary v. Washington, 84362-7 (majority) (Washington Supreme Court 2012-01-05).
- McCleary v. Washington, 84362-7 (concurrence/dissent) (Washington Supreme Court 2012-01-05).
- "Overview of the McCleary decision", Washington Policy Center, 2014-01-21, retrieved 2019-02-03 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Supreme Court Order re: McCleary, et al. v. State (PDF), 2014-01-09, retrieved 2019-02-03 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Supreme Court Order No. 84362-7 - McCleary v. State of Washington (PDF), 2014-01-09, retrieved 2019-02-03 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Santos, Melissa; Schrader, Jordan (2015-08-13). "Court fines state government $100,000 per day for failure to fund education". Tacoma News Tribune. Retrieved 2019-02-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Supreme Court Order No. 84362-7 (PDF), 2018-06-07, retrieved 2019-02-03 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- O'Sullivan, Joseph (2018-06-07). "Washington Supreme Court ends long-running McCleary education case against the state". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2019-02-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "For school systems, McCleary decision gave with one hand and took with the other". The Spokesman-Review. 2018-09-09. Retrieved 2019-04-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "'This is a scary day': 325 employees laid off from Spokane Public Schools". KREM (TV). 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2019-04-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)