Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1975 NO. 1 >

(1) Neither the superintendent of public instruction nor the state board of education has the authority under any existing statute or constitutional provision to formulate and implement a state‑wide [[statewide]] affirmative or corrective action policy for disadvantaged groups such as women or racial minorities which would be binding on all local school districts in their employment of personnel; under the supervisory authority granted to him by Article III, § 23 of the state constitution, however, the state superintendent of public instruction may require local school districts, in connection with their employment of personnel, to formulate and implement their own affirmative action policies for such disadvantaged groups, subject to such constitutional standards as may be applicable to those kinds of programs. (2) Such a requirement may be enforced by a mandamus action against any noncomplying school districts. (3) The state superintendent of public instruction has the authority to enforce federal affirmative action programs by refusing to disburse federal funds to noncomplying school districts.

AGO 1988 NO. 1 >

 1.  The Local Education Program Enhancement Funds appropriated by the Legislature in section 506 of chapter 7, Laws of 1987, 1st Ex. Sess., are block grant funds and therefore are "levy reduction funds" as defined in RCW 84.52.0531 as amended by the 1987 Legislature. 2.  The Legislature is not legally required to specify whether appropriations for new programs or program enhancements are "levy reduction funds," but labeling by the Legislature greatly aids in determining legislative intent.

AGO 1988 NO. 2 >

School districts do not, under current state law, have authority to operate adolescent health care clinics, or to provide public funds or school facilities for such clinics.

AGO 2008 NO. 2 >

1.      RCW 79.64.110(3) allows a school district to transfer surplus state forest land revenue in its debt service fund to a district capital projects fund, to the extent that such funds have not been pledged or are not otherwise necessary to satisfy the district’s bond obligations.  2.      For purposes of applying RCW 79.64.110, the Department of Natural Resources and the State Treasurer may be a source of records sufficient to determine how much forest land revenue has been credited to each school district in a given period of time.

AGO 2006 NO. 3 >

1. State and local public employees, including teachers, have no legally protected right to strike. 2. State statute establishes no specific penalties for unlawful public employee strikes; in some cases, courts may grant injunctive relief to prevent or end unlawful strikes. 3. The Legislature could enact laws establishing penalties for unlawful public employee strikes, provided that such laws are consistent with protected free speech and other state and federal constitutional rights.

AGO 1974 NO. 4 >

(1) May a school district, in providing community education programs on a nontuition and noncredit basis pursuant to § 1, chapter 138, Laws of 1973, include within such programs one or more courses of study which come within the purview of the term "vocational education" as defined in RCW 28A.09.120 (1)?  (2) In view of the fact that chapter 138, Laws of 1973, only authorizes a school district to provide community education programs on a noncredit and nontuition basis, what authority is there under any other existing state statutes for a school district which had not established a vocational‑technical institute under former RCW 28.09.050 prior to its repeal by § 73, chapter 8, Laws of 1967, Ex. Sess., either to charge tuition or to grant credit to adults [Orig. Op. Page 3] enrolled in a vocational education course being conducted by it outside of its regular K‑12 (elementary and secondary school) programs? (3) If a school district, having previously operated an adult education program in accordance with a contract with a community college district under RCW 28B.50.530, terminates that contract and then proceeds to provide the same courses of study itself on a nontuition and noncredit basis pursuant to § 1, chapter 138, Laws of 1973, will the program in question then constitute a "new community education program" so as to be ineligible for immediate state funding to begin it under the final proviso of that statute?

AGO 2006 NO. 5 >

An “independent professional educators’ association” which defines itself as not engaging in bargaining on behalf of educational employees concerning wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment is not an “employee organization” as set forth in RCW 41.59.020(1).

AGO 1989 NO. 5 >

1.  Currently serving school directors may lawfully adopt a resolution to receive compensation of fifty dollars or less per day as authorized by RCW 28A.57.327, but they may not constitutionally receive the compensation authorized until the beginning of their next respective terms of office. 2.  If RCW 28A.57.327 were amended to make school director compensation automatic, with no discretionary act of the local board of directors involved, there would be no constitutional bar to the receipt of such compensation on a midterm basis.

AGO 2003 NO. 7 >

It would not be unconstitutional for a school district to operate a school breakfast program in such a manner that public funds are used to pay the difference between the amount reimbursed by the federal government for providing meals to eligible students and the total cost of the program where (1) federal eligibility is based on income status; (2) districts would save substantial administrative costs in federal reporting requirements by using such a system; and (3) the school education program benefits where students are properly fed.