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Fair funding lawsuit offsets simple majority's failure at polls

By MARGO HORNER, The Mirror

Passing levies in Washington isn’t going to get any easier, but some Federal Way school officials aren’t worried.

Voters in Washington state did not approve the simple majority measure 4204 during last week’s elections.

The measure would have changed the current levy passing requirement from 60 percent yes votes to 50 percent yes votes, making it easier for school districts to get more money.

It’s disappointing that the measure didn’t pass, but the blow is dampened by the decision in a recent fair-funding lawsuit that requires the Legislature to reformulate how it funds basic education, said school board member Dave Larson.

The lawsuit, in which the Federal Way School District was the plaintiff, resulted in a summary judgment that will mean more money for the district.

More money means less reliance on levy funds, Larson said.

“I’m disappointed with the results, but the silver lining to the cloud is now the Legislature is forced to make sure that basic education is funded by the state,” he said.

“It would be better if we would have passed it, but by it not passing, the Legislature’s really forced to deal with the issues now, where they potentially could have used this as a way to shirk their responsibility to fully fund basic education,” Larson said.

Contact Margo Horner: mhorner@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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