How to Restore Local Control of Public Schools in Washington State

In this article, I will explain why our State Constitution requires local control of our public schools here in Washington state. Local control means that local parents control the policies in their local school district through the election of their local school board members. For more than 100 years, thanks to several clauses in the Washington State Constitution, our state was a “local control” state. However, recently, our Governor and State Superintendent chose to ignore our State Constitution by illegally threatening to withhold funds from school boards that refused to comply with their draconian policies.

These policies went way beyond imposing “Sex Ed for Kinders”, promoting “Racial Shaming”, allowing boys to enter girls bathrooms and letting boys compete in girls sports. These new policies ordered school closures, forced remote learning, required mask mandates, allowed gender mutilation without parental consent and imposed shot mandates. All of these new policies severely harmed our children. Washington students have suffered the greatest learning losses of any students in the nation. By comparison, Sweden did not close schools or require masks. Their students suffered no learning losses and their teachers did not incur any additional risk.

To try to stop these horrible policies, I spoke at numerous school board meetings to ask school board members to defy these state-imposed draconian policies. I pointed to sections of our State Constitution that prohibited Olympia from controlling local schools. Sadly, very few school boards were willing to challenge the draconian policies imposed by the Governor and State Superintendent. They buckled under to the illegal threat of the State Superintendent to withhold funding from any school district that refused to comply with his Orders or the Governor’s Orders. However, the threat to withhold funding was also a violation of several sections of our State Constitution.

Article 9, Section 2 of our state constitution states: "The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools.” This sentence means that the legislature must provide the funds for a uniform system of public schools. Uniform means the uniform apportionment of funds and the word "shall" means that uniform state funding is required.

Article 2, Section 28, Clause 7 & 15 of the Washington State Constitution state that “The legislature is prohibited from enacting any private or special laws in the following cases: (7) For authorizing the apportionment of any part of the school fund. (15) Providing for the management of common schools.”

I am running for State Superintendent to challenge the illegal actions of our current Superintendent and restore local control of public schools. My pledge to you, to parents and to our children is that if elected I will honor our State Constitution. I will return to local control of our schools. Most important, I will NEVER threaten to withhold a single penny of the apportionment funds from any school district for any reason.

If you want to return to local control of our schools, then I hope you will join me in working to restore the local control provisions of our State Constitution. The following is an analysis of these provisions. As always, I look forward to your questions and comments.

Regards, David Spring M. Ed. David (at)