No name is more synonymous with charter school fights in Washington the past two decades than Spady.
Ever since Jim and Fawn Spady moved their son out of a Seattle public school and into a private one in 1994, they’ve been on the front lines of a string of unsuccessful ballot battles to legalize this alternative form of education.
They were oh-so-close to winning in 2004 when lawmakers passed and then-Gov. Gary Lockesigned a bill allowing charter schools, only to see voters repeal the law months later.
So no one could have been happier than the Spadys when voters passed Initiative 1240 last fall, clearing a path for publicly funded, privately run schools to open starting next year.
“I was delighted to see others catching the charter school fever,” Jim Spady recalled of his reaction to the November election. “It’s all about the kids. There are a lot of kids out there today, just as there were 20 years ago, who are not getting the opportunities in public schools they deserve.”