Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) CEO Thomas Franta issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing:
“Today’s hearing provided an opportunity for charter school advocates to reinforce the constitutionality and strength of Washington’s voter-approved charter school law. WA Charters stands with the many respected educators, advocates, community leaders and parents—as well as the approved charter school leaders—who are defending the voter-approved charter school law. We are confident the Supreme Court will uphold the law, and today’s hearing provided further evidence that it was crafted to be one of the strongest in the country.
“Beyond simply having a strong law in place, there is growing momentum and demand across this state for public charter schools. Ten schools have been authorized—one already open and eight now enrolling for the 2015-16 school year—providing additional public school options for families and communities. WA Charters remains focused on supporting these schools as they work to provide learning environments that help all students, including those most at risk for academic failure, to succeed and pursue their dreams.
“The U.S. Department of Education recently provided significant multi-year grants to six of the approved charter schools, recognizing both the validity of our charter school law as well as their commitment to increasing the academic success of students from traditionally underserved communities, an express focus of Washington’s charter school law. These are the same communities that strongly supported the initiative, and the same students who excel at many public charter schools across the country.
“We are excited to continue working to ensure that each and every student has meaningful access to high quality public schools that meet their individual needs.”