Facts: Respondents Federal Way School District and several teachers, parents, and students sought a declaration that the state of Washington’s funding program formulas for certificated administrators, teachers, and classified school district employees established by the Washington Basic Education Act of 1977 violate Art. IX, Sect. 1 and 2, and Art. I, Sect. 3 and 12 of the Washington State Constitution. The Superior Court for King County entered a summary judgment in favor of the District, holding tat the disparity in salary figures in the legislature’s current funding allocation system violates the uniformity requirement of Washington Constitution Art. IX, Sect. 2, and violates the equal protection rights of individual respondents under Art. I, Sect. 12. The Supreme Court of Washington granted the State’s petition for direct review.
Questions: Do the legislature’s formulas for funding allocations between school districts violate the uniformity requirement of Art. IX, Section 2 and the equal protection rights of Art. I, Sect. 12 of the Washington Constitution?
Conclusion: Justice James M. Johnson’s opinion for the Court concluded that the State’s funding formulas did not violate the uniformity requirement of the Washington Constitution because Art. IX, Sect. 2 did not require uniform funding. The District failed to cite any persuasive authority for its claim that Washington Constitution Art. IX, Sect. 2 required the State to calculate basic education funding using uniform salary figures statewide. In addition, the Court determined that the legislature acted well within its constitutional authority and its duty to make ample provision for the education of children and to provide for a general and uniform system of education consistent with what Art. IX required. The Court further held that the individual respondents’ claims of Art. I, Sect. 12 equal protection rights violations did not meet the requirements for justiciability, and were therefore dismissed. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment of the Superior Court.
Docket No. 80943-7 (from King Case No. 06-2-36840-1 KNT)
Petitioner: State of Washington
(Counsel: David Stolier)
Respondent: Federal Way School District
(Counsel: Lester Porter, Jr.)
Argument: Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:00am
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, November 12th, 2009
Opinion: 167 Wn.2d 514 (2009)
Court: Alexander4 Court (2008-2009)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.