UPDATE – For Immediate Release: June 18, 2014

For Immediate Release | June 16, 2014

14 Groups Announce Intentions to Open High-Quality Charter Schools

To Date Total of 34 Groups Expressed Interest, 21 Prospective Founders Applied
and Eight Schools Approved Across Washington State

Seattle – The Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) today announced that 14 groups declared intentions to open high-quality public charter schools across the state. These local public school leaders, parents and teachers, along with a proven charter school organization, submitted letters of intent to the state Charter School Commission and Spokane Public Schools to open charters primarily for the 2015-16 school year. 

In the past year, 34 groups have expressed interest in opening public charter schools in Washington, 21 prospective founders have applied and eight charter schools have been approved to open their doors.

“Seeing local school leaders, teachers and parents from across the state announce their intention to open high-quality public charter schools shows tremendous momentum for Washington’s growing movement,” said Marta Reyes-Newberry, interim CEO of WA Charters. “Taking the first step in the rigorous review and approval process, these aspiring school founders are now on the road to becoming Washington’s next charter school leaders. WA Charters is ready to support these new leaders as they work to plan and realize their vision of providing high-quality public school options to serve students and families in their communities.”

Representing a diversity of communities across the state, prospective founders submitted 12 letters of intent to the state Charter School Commission and two letters of intent to Spokane Public Schools. Communities represented include: Clark County; Grays Harbor; the lower Yakima Valley; Pasco; Pierce County; the Rainier Valley and South Seattle; South King County; Spokane; Tacoma; and Yakima.

Public charter schools will open in communities across Washington, with the first such school opening in Seattle this fall. The initial step toward charter approval, letters of intent for prospective charters this year were submitted on June 13 to the state Charter School Commission and by June 15 to Spokane Public Schools. Complete charter applications will be submitted in July with the approval decisions announced by October. In January, the first public charter schools were approved to open their doors to students in 2014-15 and 2015-16. 

About WA Charters
The Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) is a statewide nonprofit organization that supports the start-up of high-quality public charter schools, with a focus on serving academically and economically underserved communities. WA Charters focuses on three key areas of support: providing information about charter schools; supporting leaders to grow high-performing public charter schools; and providing support and services to help charter schools operate. To learn more about public charter schools in Washington, please visit: www.wacharters.org.