By John Cohen, District Communications Director
At its meeting on April 27, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Steilacoom Historical School District #1 unanimously passed a resolution to join 131 other Washington state school districts as members of NEWS, Network for Excellence in Washington Schools. In addition, District is joined by Steilacoom Education Association and Steilacoom Classified Education Association as NEWS members.
NEWS is a coalition of 270 plus community organizations, school districts and education associations representing thousands of voters, parents, teachers and other concerned citizens who believe the children of this state deserve a first-class K-12 education. Plagued by a long-outdated state funding system that fails to fully fund even the most basic elements of a high quality 21st century education, NEWS filed a lawsuit asking the courts to order the State of Washington to live up to its principal constitutional duty to make ample provisions for the education of all Washington children.
The seven-week trial in the NEWS court case concluded on Oct. 21, 2009, in King County Superior Court. On Feb. 4, 2010, Judge John Erlick ruled the state in violation of its constitutionally mandated “paramount duty” to amply provide for the education of all children. The court ordered the state to determine the actual costs of providing all children with the knowledge and skills set forth in the state’s high academic standards and to fully fund that actual cost with stable and dependable state resources. The State of Washington appealed the ruling and a hearing on that appeal to the Washington State Supreme Court will be heard on June 28, 2011.
“The Boards of Directors of Steilacoom Historical School District #1 unequivocally believes that the state constitution’s provision requiring the overriding responsibility of government to provide appropriate, quality public education for all Washington students needs to be upheld and fully implemented,” said Michael Winkler, Board chairman.
For further information regarding NEWS, please visit www.waschoolexcellence.org/.