The State Board of Education met this week to review and discuss draft rules for the state’s first public charter schools. Members of the Washington Coalition for Public Charter Schools attended the public meeting to continue its leadership efforts to support effective implementation and a timeline that delivers high-quality charter schools serving at-risk students.
The State Board heard testimony on the new rules as others, the Washington Education Association and State Superintendent Randy Dorn, are contemplating legal or legislative challenges against new charter school law (Initiative 1240). Dorn believes charter schools should be under the direction of his state agency and is arguing the constitutionality of a separate independent agency. He will ask the state Legislature to amend the current law, and also might pursue a legal challenge. The WEA, the state teachers union, is proposing a lawsuit to block the charter schools law, a tactic the Seattle Times editorial board strongly denounced.
The charter school draft rules establish an annual application and approval process for local school boards seeking to be charter school authorizers. A public hearing on the draft rules is scheduled for February 26 in Olympia.