2016 LEGISLATIVE SESSION | Teachers’ pay, school districts’ special levies targets of study ordered in House education bill

OLYMPIA — The Washington House of Representatives passed a bill 64-34 that would create a group to produce recommendations for retaining and fully compensating teachers, as required by the Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary mandate.

OLYMPIA — The Washington House of Representatives passed a bill 64-34 that would create a group to produce recommendations for retaining and fully compensating teachers, as required by the Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary mandate.

That Supreme Court decision found the state was not meeting its constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education. Since September 2014 the court has held the state in contempt for failing to produce plans to accomplish this task, and in August last year issued a $100,000 per day penalty for failing to comply with its order. Basic education must be fully funded by 2018.

The Supreme Court includes teacher compensation as a component of basic education and found that local tax levy funds, which the court considers unreliable for sustained financial resources, have paid for parts of teacher compensation that should have been paid by the state.

“This is acknowledging that the current system is broken, that the current system is unconstitutional,” Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, said on the floor during last week’s vote. “We are affirming our commitment to put an end to that.”

“We believe…that we have set our benchmarks, that we have fulfilled our obligation to the state of the Washington, to the people of Washington, and to the children of our state,” said Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes. “I believe that this is our biggest hurdle. I believe that we can come together.”

HB 2366 establishes a task force that, with the help of a consultant, would produce for the next legislative session recommendations to fully fund teacher pay. The bill also requires action to eliminate school districts’ reliance on local tax levies by the end of the 2017 session.

Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, said the bill’s section about levies would bind legislators in the session next year to a deadline, adding that current legislators have been in the same position because the court based basic education on the 2009 statute that created the model for prototypical schools.

Manweller warned that the court would use HB 2366 against the Legislature. The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration. A companion Senate bill in earlier January failed to gain committee approval.

“We have undermined the legislative authority of this body, which we all care about. We have politicized the courts to a degree that has never been seen in Washington State, and we have led ourselves to the worst constitutional crisis since the founding of this republic,” said Manweller during debates. “And now we’re here today to say we’re not going to fix that problem. We’re not going to fix that mistake. We’re going to repeat that mistake.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, countered: “The bill we have today puts forward the next promise, the promise that we will fix a broken school compensation system.”

“I wasn’t here, and I don’t believe any of us were here, when the constitution was adopted, but we’re living up to the commitment that was made by our forefathers,” he continued.

Lytton, Sullivan and Magendanz were part of a work group established by Gov. Jay Inslee in September to produce this bill along with five other representatives and senators.

Inslee reacted to passage of the House bill Monday saying, “We still have much work to do for our school children and their teachers. Today’s vote keeps us moving in the right direction.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn spoke against the House bill during the House Appropriations Committee public hearing two weeks ago, saying the bill did not do anything that was not previously studied by other tasks forces, councils, and work groups created by the Legislature.

The bill passed the House with bi-partisan support. No Democrat voted against the measure.

How House members voted on HB 2366

Voted Yea:

Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, District 23

Steve Bergquist, D-Renton, District 11

Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, District 19

Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard, District 26

Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, District 41

Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, District 34

Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, District 44

Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle, District 46

Jake Fey, D-Tacoma, District 27

Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Seattle, District 34

Noel Frame, D-Seattle, District 36

Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, District 45

Mia Grierson, D-SeaTac, District 33

Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, District 23

Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, District 12

Teri Hickel, R-Federal Way, District 30

Zack Hudgins, D-Tukwila, District 11

Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, District 22

Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, District 31

Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, District 27

Norm Johnson, R-Yakima, District 14

Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle, District 32

Christine Kilduff, D-University Place, District 28

Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, District 29

Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way, District 30

Patricia Kuderer, D-Bellevue, District 48

Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, District 40

Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, District 5

Joan McBride, D-Kirkland, District 48

Gina R. McCabe, R-Goldendale, District 14

Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, District 49

Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, District 40

Luis Moscoso,  D-Mountlake Terrace, District 1

Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, District 28

Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, District 16

Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, District 3

Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-Mukilteo, District 21

Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, District 33

Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, District 21

Eric Pettigrew, D-Renton, District 37

Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, District 46

Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, District 22

Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, District 3

June Robinson, D-Everett, District 38

Jay Rodne, R-Snoqualmie, District 5

JD Rossetti, D-Longview, District 19

Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline, District 32

Sharon Tomiko Santos, D-Seattle, District 37

David Sawyer, D-Parkland, District 29

Mike Sells, D-Everett, District 38

Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, District 41

Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, District 45

Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, District 25

Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, District 1

Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, District 31

Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, District 47

Gael Tarleton, D-Seattle, District 36

Steve Tharinger, D-Dungeness, District 24

Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, District 24

Brady Walkinshaw, D-Seattle, District 42

Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, District 16

Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, District 49

Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, District 25

Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, District 43

 

Voted Nay:

Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, District 40

Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, District 15

Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, District 12

Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, District 20

Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, District 12

Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, District 9

Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, District 35

Larry Haler, R-Richland, District 8

Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, District 47

Mark Harmsworth, R-Mill Creek, District 44

Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, District 17

Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island, District 10

Jeff Holy, R-Cheney, District 6

Graham Hunt, R-Orting, District 2

Brian Klippert, R-Kennewick, District 8

Joel Kretz, R-Wacounda, District 7

Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, District 39

Drew MacEwen, R-Union, District 35

Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, District 12

Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley, District 4

Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, District 20

Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, District 6

Liz Pike, R-Camas, District 18

Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, District 9

Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe, District 39

Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, District 4

Shelly Short, R-Addy, District 7

Norma Smith, R-Clinton, District 10

David Taylor, R-Moxee, District 15

Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden, District 42

Brandon Vick, R-Felida, District 18

J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, District 2

Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, District 17

Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, District 26

 

(Izumi Hansen is a reporter for the WNPA Olympia News Bureau. This story is part of a series of news reports from the Washington State Legislature provided through a reporting internship sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. Contact reporter Izumi Hansen at hansenizumi@gmail.com.)

 

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