The movement to bring high-quality public charter schools to Washington state is gaining steam. Last month, Spokane Public Schools became the first Washington school district approved to become a charter school authorizer. Now, additional school districts are looking to follow suit, and beginning the process to operate and oversee public charters in Washington.
Earlier this week, three Washington school districts submitted letters of intent to become district authorizers. Highline Public Schools, Tacoma Public Schools, and the West Valley School District (Yakima) will have until the end of the year to submit applications to the Washington State Board of Education. SBE will evaluate the applications and notify the districts of a decision by April 1, 2014.
As the Associated Press has reported, Tacoma and Highline were on the original list of districts that had expressed interest in becoming authorizers, but only Spokane submitted a Round 1 application to become an authorizer for schools opening in 2014.
Charter school authorizers are able to approve or deny charter school applications submitted by schools or nonprofits. In addition to school district authorizers, the Washington Charter School Commission can authorize and oversee charter schools anywhere in the state.
As more develops, be sure to stay engaged for future updates and information. Get the facts on charters and learn more in an implementation timeline for schools opening in 2014 and 2015. Sign up for alerts, check out our Events page, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.