Making Sense of McCleary

As stated before:

Washington State Parents Involved in Education is neutral in the McCleary matter since we are focused on state education quality issues and on all Federal issues; however, it is important that people follow the latest information of this STATE LEVEL ISSUE.  The stakes are high and the battles are heating up as we get into the thick of the session.  It is very likely that the Governor will end up needing to call a special session.  Maybe two or three!


4/8/17:  Here is the latest as found in an email that Rep. Zach Hudgins (D-11th) sends to all people who are interested in education matters and we’re on his list from sending things to him  on issues of our passion.    He writes:

“Hello educators, parents, and others concerned about our education policy:

I am writing to you because you have communicated with me about education issues in the past. Throughout this legislative session, I will continue to share some of the resources that we are using to make our decisions, and invite you to share your perspective on how these issues play out in your schools and communities.

Two plans

Both the House and Senate education funding plans have moved out of their respective chambers, and we have entered what is called a “four-corner negotiation” – in which leadership from the House Democrats, the House Republicans, the Senate Democrats, and the Senate Republicans, negotiate a final compromise. As a reminder:

House education package:

  1. ESHB 1843 is the House’s plan for complying with McCleary;
  2. SHB 2186 is the revenue package the House has proposed to fund the program of basic education; and
  3. HB 2185 is the education-specific portion of the revenue package (think of this as the logistical connection between numbers 1 and 2 above).

Senate education package:

  1. SB 5607 is the Senate’s plan for complying with McCleary;
  2. ESSB 5875 modifies SB 5607; and
  3. PSSB 5048 is the Senate’s Operating Budget. 

Attached is an Excel Tool that allows you to compare the House and Senate proposals in terms of district and per pupil funding as well as taxpayer impact. It can also be found, along with other budget resources, on the state’s budget page. Also attached is the estimated per pupil funding of different categorical programs under the House and Senate proposals, as compared to current law.”
Estimated Funding Per Pupil – House Appropriations Senate Proposals – March 30 (1)




Attached is the latest document from the Washington State School Director’s Association that provides a high-level summary of 2017 education funding proposals (HB 1067, Governor Inslee’s 2017-19 operating budget proposal; SSB 5607, Senate Republican Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) proposal; SHB 1843, Democratic Caucus proposal based on January 2017 recommendations to the Education Funding Task Force; and SB 5825, proposal from moderate Senate Democrats Mullet, Takko, and Hobbs).

WSSDA positions-Budg.Plan Analysis.v4 (1)

For people new to the McCleary court case, here is some essential “101/201” information that will help you understand the history and how we got here.  For additional and more deeper information, you can visit the website for Washington’s Paramount Duty


The definition of basic education is laid out in two comprehensive education reform bills, passed in 2009 and 2010: ESHB 2261 and SHB 2776. These two laws provide a detailed road map, spelling out everything that a basic education must encompass, and the Legislature must now fully fund these laws.

Organization of Public Education in Washington State

Randy Dorn on:   

What is McCleary v. Washington about?

Sen. Joe Fain five part “57 Seconds series” on K-12 Education Funding

former Rep. Hunter’s Blog

Sen. Hill’s Blog:

State Board of Ed./McCleary Timeline
WSPTA-McCleary Platform


Synopsis of 2261 and 2776

In ESHB 2261, the legislature:

• Preserved the historically recognized basic education offerings, including remediation assistance programs, transitional bilingual education, special education, and education for juveniles in detention.
• Outlined the instructional program of basic education and the learning standards and guidelines for the arts, English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, educational technology, health and fitness, integrated environment and sustainability, and world languages;
• Added voluntary full-day kindergarten;
• Adopted a new transportation funding formula;
• Provided support for the highly capable programs;
• Increased yearly instructional hours from 1,000 to 1,080 for grades 7-12, and the high school graduation requirement of 24 course credits.
• Instituted new requirements for teacher certification and development geared toward improving student learning;
• Adopted the prototypical school model;
• Intended to enhance the salary allocation model;
• Created two funding work groups, including a compensation work group and local funding work group; and
• Created a new data system intended to measure the cost effectiveness of programs by linking program expenditures with student performance data.

In SHB 2776, the legislature:
• Set forth the details of the new prototypical school model;
• Outlined staffing ratios;
• Adopted enhancements to funding levels;
• Detailed the materials, supplies, and operating costs (MSOCs) on a per-student basis, and required increased funding for MSOCs to achieve full funding by the 2015-16 school year;
• Mandated that reductions in K-3 class sizes begin during the 2011-13 biennium, with class sizes to be reduced to 17 students per classroom by the 2017-18 school year;
• Identified a new transportation funding formula to be phased in beginning in the 2011-13 biennium; and
• Required the legislature to continue phasing in full-day kindergarten to reach statewide implementation by the 2017-18 school year.


RCW 28A.150.220

Basic education—Minimum instructional requirements—Program accessibility—Rules.


Basic Ed. Definition: RCW 28A.150.210
Basic education—Goals of school districts.
A basic education is an evolving program of instruction that is intended to provide students with the opportunity to become responsible and respectful global citizens, to contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families and communities, to explore and understand different perspectives, and to enjoy productive and satisfying lives. Additionally, the state of Washington intends to provide for a public school system that is able to evolve and adapt in order to better focus on strengthening the educational achievement of all students, which includes high expectations for all students and gives all students the opportunity to achieve personal and academic success. To these ends, the goals of each school district, with the involvement of parents and community members, shall be to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills essential to:
(1) Read with comprehension, write effectively, and communicate successfully in a variety of ways and settings and with a variety of audiences;
(2) Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical, and life sciences; civics and history, including different cultures and participation in representative government; geography; arts; and health and fitness;
(3) Think analytically, logically, and creatively, and to integrate technology literacy and fluency as well as different experiences and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems; and
(4) Understand the importance of work and finance and how performance, effort, and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities.