George Noorey

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(Olympia, WA)  --  A legislative task force charged with recommending ways to fully fund public education in Washington has spent about a half-million dollars so far, but has yet to approve a formal proposal.  The Education Funding Task Force was created by lawmakers last year after they decided not to tackle the last main issue relating to the state Supreme Court's McCleary mandate.  Washington State Institute for Public Policy associate director Annie Pennucci tells the "Seattle Times" that nearly 90 percent of the 500-thousand dollars budgeted for the task force went toward a consulting company's work to compile and analyze the data.  She says most of the remainder paid for staff time the institute spent on task-force work.

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