Washington's public-school funding issues go back decades. Take a look at the interactive timeline to see what led to the state Supreme Court's landmark McCleary decision.
It’s been nearly a decade since two families and a host of school districts, local teachers unions and education organizations sued Washington state, alleging it wasn’t meeting its constitutional duty to adequately fund public schools. The McCleary lawsuit, named for one of the families, led to a 2012 state Supreme Court decision, which ordered the Legislature to raise education funding.
The state has struggled to figure how to comply with the state’s ruling by 2018. Two years ago, the court issued an unprecedented contempt ruling against the state, saying lawmakers had failed to provide a required, detailed plan on how the state would meet the 2018 deadline for fully funding basic education.
In Wednesday’s state Supreme Court hearing, the state and the plaintiffs argued whether the contempt order and $100,000-a-day fine should be lifted. During the hearing, justices noted that the school-funding issues go back decades, not just to 2012. The timeline below shows what led to the McCleary lawsuit and what has happened since the landmark decision.