Letter from State Superintendent Randy Dorn to Charter School Parents

Today, Randy Dorn, Superintendent of Public Instruction, sent the following letter to public charter school parents across the state—reassuring them that the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is committed to ensuring that there will not be a disruption to the education of students enrolled in our state’s nine charter schools. Read Supt. Dorn’s full letter below, which we have pasted in full with his permission:

Like many observers, I was surprised and disappointed by the timing of the Supreme Court’s Sept. 4 ruling in the charter school lawsuit. As we wait for a final judgment by the courts, I’m committed to ensuring that the education of the nearly 1,200 children enrolled in approved charter schools is not interrupted.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will work with educators across the state, including school district leaders, to help assure that charter school students will continue to receive appropriate education. I am committed to do what I can to ensure that:

  •         Current charter school students who choose alternative short-term solutions will receive credit if they transfer to traditional public schools;
  •         Charter school students aren’t punished – for example, by being labeled truant – as they transition to public schools; and
  •         Charter school students have an uninterrupted educational experience; any disruptions to students and their families during this period must be minimized.

To that end, we are currently working with several school districts who hope to enter into negotiations with charter school operators and develop public alternative learning experiences (ALE) for students who are enrolled in charter schools. We will help these districts implement ALE programs so that they meet state legal requirements and provide a flexible public education option for students who have enrolled in charter schools.

OSPI also will work with the State Board of Education to help expedite any charter school that wishes to apply to become an approved private school.

I thank all parents of charter school students for their work and their patience during this difficult time. I will do what I can to minimize any hardships the timing of this ruling has caused.

Sincerely,

Randy I. Dorn

State Superintendent of Public Instruction