Why the McCleary process is not working

Jan 12, 2017

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Key Findings:

1.  Through a series of hearings and fines, judges have sought to push the legislature into carrying out their policy orders regarding public education.

2.  Lawmakers have increased education spending by $4.6 billion, or 34 percent, since 2012.

3. When the McCleary process started, per-student spending was $9,418; today it is $12,652, more than tuition at many private schools.

4.  The judges say they are not satisfied, yet since the court intervened, voters have sent newly-elected lawmakers to Olympia three times, without any improvement in the McCleary process.

5.  The court’s unusual decision to hold the legislature in contempt has had little impact on the public and almost no effect on candidates in the recent election.

6.  After five years, the McCleary process appears to have reached its functional limit, and lawmakers will likely re-assert control over the state education program. 

Download file Download the Full Legislative Memo

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