Sawant Statement on Underfunding of Education in WA
McCleary argued before Supreme Court today
SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant issued the following statement regarding the case heard today in the Washington State Supreme Court about funding for basic education and the 2012 McCleary decision:
“Today, the Washington State Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether the Court should find state legislators in contempt for its criminal underfunding of Washington schools. Activists are traveling to Olympia to deliver a letter calling on the Supreme Court, Governor Inslee and the Legislature to fully fund our public schools by taxing corporations and the super-wealthy. I have signed the letter, and I stand in solidarity with the hundreds of teachers and community activists demanding immediate action on public education.
“The 2012 McCleary decision mandated that legislators urgently begin funding education. Instead, they brazenly called a special session in November of 2013 to give away $8.7 billion in corporate handouts to Boeing – the largest in U.S. history – effectively taking $1,350 per year from each Washington student.
“Now, legislators have the audacity to say that students will have to wait until at least 2015 before they will even consider adequately funding schools.
“While I would of course welcome a finding of contempt from the Court, we should remember that regardless of the Court’s ruling, the State Legislature is clearly in contempt of our students and the working families of Washington.
“The Democratic and Republican party establishments have proven that they are beholden to big business, and will not act to improve the lives of working people. As the struggle for a $15 minimum wage shows, we need to organize a powerful mass movement, and fight back so that our schools, rather than massive corporations, receive billions of dollars in additional funding. We need a movement to run more candidates who are independent, who are working class, who are people of color and who are immigrants. That is why I have signed this letter, as a solid first step towards building this movement.”