In Washington, charter schools are like most late library books: overdue without a good excuse.
The state ought to have them. Most others do.
Under this initiative, charters can’t exclude students who wish to attend, nor charge tuition. Funding is based on per-student enrollment, just like traditional public schools. Nonprofit entities run the schools and can hire and fire teachers, but the students are expected to meet the same academic standards.
…We agree that money alone won’t deliver a world-class education to all of Washington’s students. The fact that better than 1 in 4 students don’t graduate from high school on time isn’t just a funding issue. Innovation has to be part of the solution.
Yet Washington has long resisted bold efforts for change in education, whether pushed by business groups or bipartisan coalitions of teachers, parents, community leaders and other education advocates. Still, such a group has organized for one more try, this time filing an initiative to allow a limited number of public charter schools.
The charter schools ballot initiative proposed for the November election was born out of parental frustration with the Legislature’s failure to move on a key education reform.
The effort is not a Democratic strategy, although many in the party support it, but an educational strategy acknowledging that our schools aren’t working for all students. Let lawmakers and the state teachers union argue about money and control. The bottom line: Our schools need new and creative approaches.
The charter proposal is thoughtful. A coalition of education-advocacy groups behind the effort is seeking a maximum of 40 public charter schools over five years, operated by qualified nonprofits and overseen by a local school board or a special state commission. The schools would be free and open to everyone.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – A bi-partisan coalition of education advocates, teachers, parents, legislators and community leaders filed an initiative measure today that will authorize a limited number of public charter schools in Washington state and evaluate their success in improving academic achievement and outcomes for Washington public school students.
Coalition of Education Groups in Washington State Files Ballot Measure to Create Modest Charter Schools Program
SEATTLE — A coalition of Washington education groups on Tuesday filed a citizen initiative asking voters to allow 40 public charter schools in the state over the next five years.
The coalition including the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children and Democrats for Education Reform has until July 6 to collect nearly 250,000 valid voter signatures.