Message from the Superintendent



July 16, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

It is an interesting place “we stand” now.  School is out.  The Legislature just finished its longest session on record.  It did some things for K-12 education, but it didn’t do other very important things as directed by the state Supreme Court.  And, in a few days (due by July 27th) both the state and we at NEWS, on behalf of the plaintiff’s in the McCleary case, will file briefs with the Court.  Each will indicate from their perspective what was done, wasn’t done, why, etc. I suspect there will be some comment on whether the Court should impose sanctions given that the state was found in contempt by the Court last September and was given the 2015 legislative session to do what the Court ordered.  By the way, all the Court ordered was for the state to do what the state testified it would do years ago, and provide approximately one million school aged children with what they deserve in our state’s public schools as required by our own state constitution. 

So, we stand now, engaged in our summer plans, and catching a little sunshine – phased out of last school year and busy in some respects getting ready for the 2015-16 school year.  We wonder ….what will the Court do given this most recent legislative session and the K-12 budget?  In several weeks we will know.  The media will have reported about the case and there will have been commentary and opinion editorials about how the Court should or shouldn’t act, etc.  Then, the Court will act and either stand up for public schools by holding the legislature accountable with significant sanctions or it will blink due to the complexity of the political situation and essentially give the legislature a “pass” by imposing no sanction(s) or use wimpy ones that won’t change anything.  As we stand and wait, there is something infinitely clear to me.

We stand for what is best for school aged children.  We stand up for young people when others won’t and many don’t and in the face of those who make excuses and cast blame.  We stand together, against all odds, and we don’t shrink at the challenge or important work we do.  We stand up in the face of criticism. We stand up together with parents and other advocates who also champion what is best for students and schools.  We stand up and do our work when many elected officials are busy changing educational policies even before we have implemented the ones they just approved.  We stand up when some of the most wealthy individuals and companies in the world, that reside in Washington, use their tremendous economic and political power to increase policy expectations for schools, but then at the same time thwart school funding by attacking policies that would provide resources as required by our own state constitution.  In the midst of all of this, we stand!

I am cautiously optimistic that the men and women justices of our state’s Supreme Court will be standing up once more for K-12 public education.  I hope that they will make the legislature that went home and sat down, have to stand up once again, but this time correctly for public schools.  I know that however this turns out, we will keep standing up for the students, families, and community we serve. It is who we are and it is what we do! Thank you for standing up in this important work!


“Be content to stand in the light and let the shadow fall where it will.”  Mary W. Stewart


Last Modified on July 16, 2015