McCleary v. State

This court case is completed

Plaintiffs filed this suit to enforce the State’s duty, under the Washington Constitution Article IX, § 1, to provide adequate funding of a “basic education” for all students in public schools statewide.  Our state’s constitution has the strongest language supporting the right to education in the country; it states that“[i]t is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.”  Based on extensive evidence, the trial court found the State was violating this provision.  The court’s legal analysis relied in part on the importance of an adequate education to a healthy democracy, particularly in a direct democracy state like Washington.  The ACLU sought to assist the state Supreme Court in keeping the right to education strong by filing an amicus brief expanding upon the importance of the right to an education, the reasoning behind our state constitution’s strong protection of this right, and the importance of ending inequities in education based on race and other protected class status.

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