WA Public Charter Schools Initiative Now State Law

Dear I-1240 supporters:

The Washington Public Charter Schools Initiative (I-1240) became state law today after the November 2012 election was officially certified. We’d like to thank you for your help in passing this important initiative and encourage you to stay involved.

The Washington Coalition for Public Charter Schools, which put the measure on the ballot, continues its leadership efforts to support effective implementation and a timeline that delivers high-quality charter schools serving at-risk students. Under I-1240, a maximum of 40 public charter schools may be authorized over a five-year period.

The initiative calls for members of the newly formed Washington State Charter School Commission to be appointed within 90 days of today’s date. The charter school commission will be comprised of three appointees each from the Office of Governor, state House of Representatives and the state Senate. The commission’s role is to review applications, authorize and hold accountable quality public charter schools that meet the intent and purpose of the law.

The founding coalition members – Washington Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, Partnership for Learning and Democrats for Education Reform – are focusing their efforts on developing an implementation plan that addresses:

  • the development of high-quality public charter schools;
  • the appointment of commission members who understand and support high-quality public charter schools; and
  • the need for clear, accurate and continuous education and information about public charter schools.

The State Board of Education has 90 days to develop rules for an annual charter school application process and timeline, as well as the timeline and process for school boards seeking approval to become charter school authorizers. The State Board of Education will conduct a public hearing on the proposed charter school rules sometime after its January 2013 meeting. More information on this process is available at: http://www.sbe.wa.gov/charters.php.

Now that the election results have been certified, the real work begins. We encourage you to stay involved in our coalition and to contact us if you are interested in helping us or serving on the charter commission. You can contact us at info@wacharters.org or at (877) 704-5577.

To learn more about charter schools in Washington and keep updated on efforts of the coalition, please visit our Website at www.wacharters.org (where there are helpful FAQs) and be sure to “like” our Facebook page.

Again, we thank you for your commitment to passing I-1240. We believe this initiative will have a positive impact for families and students in our state who are looking for another education option.

Sincerely,

Shannon Campion, Stand for Children
Chris Korsmo, League of Education Voters
Jana Carlisle, Partnership for Learning
Lisa Macfarlane, Democrats for Education Reform