(Aug 13) Washington State Faces $100,000-a-Day Fine Until Schools Plan Is Reached

by Kirk Johnson
The New York Times

SEATTLE — Washington State’s highest court, which has threatened, cajoled and pleaded with the state Legislature and governor for years to close the gap in spending between rich and poor schools, said on Thursday that it had finally lost its patience. In a unanimous decision, the nine-member Supreme Court imposed a fine of $100,000 a day on the state until a plan to reduce the gap was accepted, and in a written order “encouraged” Gov. Jay Inslee to call the Legislature into a special session.

The financial sanctions, which started on Thursday with the filing of the order, will be owed every 24 hours, seven days a week, with the money going into an education fund. The court said that some of the fines might be returned — for each day the House and Senate are back in session working on the problem — but only if their work resulted in what the court called “full compliance.”

“The State still has offered no plan,” the justices said. “Accordingly, this court must take immediate action to enforce its orders.”

Full story: Washington State Faces $100,000-a-Day Fine Until Schools Plan Is Reached, by Kirk Johnson, The New York Times, 08/13/15


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