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Washington basic education trial begins

SEATTLE, Wash. - A trial to determine if the state is adequately paying for basic public education is under way in Seattle.
/ Source: KHQ-TV

SEATTLE, Wash. - A trial to determine if the state is adequately paying for basic public education is under way in Seattle.

The lawsuit was brought by a coalition of school districts, parents, teachers and community groups. About 50 witnesses are expected to testify over the next six weeks.

Testimony began Monday in King County Superior Court.

Each sides will be arguing its interpretation of a state Supreme Court ruling from more than 30 years ago that said Washington state must fully pay for its definition of basic education.

State and federal dollars pay most, but not all the cost to educate Washington's students. The rest of the money comes from local tax levies, donations and PTA fundraisers. Meanwhile, the Washington Constitution makes education the state's highest priority.

The coalition says the state has been dragging its feet. Assistant state attorney general Bill Clark says the state is meeting the education duties.

School funding adequacy has been the subject of nearly a dozen lawsuits around the country during the past decade.