CHICAGO - Since Illinois is without a K-12 school budget for FY 2017, perhaps it's time to consider a radical alternative that a school superintendent raised for Washington state schools, as reported in the Seattle Times:
OLYMPIA — Randy Dorn says it could be time to close Washington state’s K-12 public schools.
You wouldn’t expect the state superintendent of public instruction to say that.
But Dorn, who isn’t seeking re-election, argues in a court brief filed Wednesday that the state Supreme Court needs to get serious about enforcing its 2012 ruling that the state was violating its constitution in underfunding K-12 schools.
Serious, Dorn says in the court filing, means the court should consider closing the schools until the Legislature makes real progress.
In the past, “The Superintendent has opposed closing the schools as a remedy for McCleary,” according to the brief. But it cites the apparent success of that tactic once in New Jersey, and “closing the schools cannot be ruled out as a final remedy.”
Although Washington state lawmakers have poured billions of dollars more into the education system, they’ve stalled on finishing the final elements needed to comply with the McCleary ruling.
For that they’ve been held in contempt of court. And in August, the court began fining the state $100,000 a day for not making enough progress on a full plan to fund K-12 education.
Among other things, Dorn also suggests the court stop some special state tax exemptions or divert nonschool funds to spend on education.