Letter | Do not appeal NEWS lawsuit decision, urges LWSD PTA unit

By Susan Baird-Joshi

March 11, 2010

To: Governor Christine Gregoire Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna

CC: NEWS (Network for Excellence in Washington Schools) Lake Washington PTSA Council presidents and legislative chairs Washington State PTA--Jeanette Muck, Leg. Dir; Kim Howard, Government Relations; Pres. Scott Allen Washington State PTA--legislative listserv Elected representatives from the 45th District--Rep. Goodman, Rep. Springer, Sen. Oemig Other elected representatives in leg. districts in LWSD--32nd, 5th, 48th Helen Keller Elementary PTA newsletter and email distribution list

HKE Principal Kirkland Views Kirkland Reporter and other local media Lake Washington School District Board members LWSD Superintendent & Asst Superintendent Lake Washington Educator's Association President Kevin Teeley Lake Washington Citizens Levy Committee members WSSDA Legislative staffers

Dear Gov. Gregoire and Attorney General McKenna:

Helen Keller Elementary PTA urges you to NOT appeal the King County trial court's decision regarding state funding of education in the NEWS lawsuit.  Helen Keller PTA members unanimously supported this resolution at the unit's Feb. 25, 2010 general meeting. We would like a response from your offices stating your intentions regarding the NEWS lawsuit.

Helen Keller PTA is based at Helen Keller Elementary, Kirkland, in the Lake Washington School District.

In the Feb. 4 decision of the NEWS lawsuit, Judge John Erlick directed the State, "to determine the cost of amply providing for basic education and a basic program of education for all children resident in the State of Washington."  He also ruled that the Legislator has the ability to provide that funding.

Judge Erlick stated that the State, "is failing in its constitutional duty to make ample provision for the education of all children."   In his conclusion, Judge Erlick declared, “State funding is not ample, it is not stable, and it is not dependable.  Local school districts continue to rely on local levies and other non-State resources to supplement state funding for a basic program of education.”

For More Information about the NEWS (Network for Excellence in Washington Schools) lawsuit and the Judge's decision:

* "State’s failure to fully fund public schools declared unconstitutional," http://www.waschoolexcellence.org/whats_new/119

* Judge John Erlick's ruling, http://www.waschoolexcellence.org/files/Superior%20Court%20ruling.pdf

Submitted on behalf of Helen Keller Elementary PTA by:

Susan Baird-Joshi