OLYMPIA – Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, today issued the following statement in response to sanctions issued by the Washington State Supreme Court:
“We made significant investments in education during the 2015 Legislative Session, however, I agree with the State Supreme Court that our work to fully fund basic education is not yet finished.
“We need to make sure that all our kids have access to the best education possible – which means having the best teachers possible. In some areas across our state, retaining the best and brightest educators can be difficult when teacher salaries differ from school district to school district. We need to shift the burden of teacher salaries away from local levies and back to the state, as the court has said we must do.
“After countless hours and months of negotiation, Senate Democrats came to a bipartisan education agreement with the Republican Majority that recognizes our state’s reliance on local levies, addresses the policy changes needed to fix the situation, and identifies the $3.5 billion price tag. The agreement also calls for new revenue, not cuts, to fund the proposal. The bipartisan education agreement is a good first step, however, it was acknowledged early on that the agreement is not a finished product and would not move forward during the 2015 Legislative Session.
“I am ready to continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate, and with Gov. Inslee to make sure that we not only satisfy the orders of the court, but most importantly, ensure that all Washington students have the best opportunity to succeed in school.”