Senator Kevin Ranker said he was not surprised by the state Supreme Court ruling to fine the state $100,000 per day for failing to come up with a plan to adequately fund K-12 education.
Ranker said, “I was not surprised by today’s decision. The issue at the very heart of the McCleary Decision is that the state, not local school districts, must pay for teacher salaries. While we made positive steps in other areas of education funding, we failed to fix this one."
“I was a member of a bipartisan work group that tried to address this issue. In the end, we agreed on the policy and the $3.5 billion price tag, but couldn’t reach agreement on how to pay for it.
“Republicans wanted to pay for it through the largest property tax increase in state history; a move that would have been felt by more than two million homeowners throughout our state. Democrats pushed for a high-earners capital gains tax which would have been paid by just 7,500 of Washington’s millionaires and billionaires or a tax on polluters which would have raised a billion per year for education.
“While we couldn’t reach agreement on how to pay for it, Democrats and Republicans agreed that the only way to responsibly pay for it is through revenue and not through cuts to other critical programs.
“While I’m not surprised by the Court’s decision, I’m disappointed that it has come to this. I hope that when we solve this problem we do so in a way that doesn’t double down on our state’s already unfair tax structure. I hope we do so in a way that asks the wealthiest in our communities to pay a little more or asks polluters to pay for the impact they have on the environment and the health of our communities.”