Updated: WA Charters Statement on Yesterday’s State Supreme Court Ruling

For Immediate Release | September 5, 2015

WA Charters is shocked and deeply disappointed with the State Supreme Court’s ruling, which rejected the public charter school law that voters approved in 2012—recognized as one of the strongest in the nation. The decision was based on a century-old precedent and said that public charter schools cannot receive “common school” public funds because they are not overseen by elected boards.

Unfortunately, the ruling comes weeks after eight new public charter schools started serving 1,200 excited students. The Court’s decision, made late Friday, did not specify what exactly will happen to the schools that are already open—and the students who attend them. Instead, the State Supreme Court justices sent the case back to the King County Superior Court “for an appropriate order.”

Along with legal experts, we are carefully reviewing the decision to determine how this ruling will be applied. Until we know more, every public charter school plans to be open on Tuesday, September 8, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that there is no disruption for the students currently enrolled in Washington’s public charter schools.

This is what we do know: our legal options are not exhausted. WA Charters will continue to push for high-quality options for students and families, especially those who have been underserved in traditional district school environments. When doors of opportunity are closed for underserved students, Washington state loses futures—and that will cost us deeply.

The public supports charter schools and the flexible, personalized learning environment they offer to students. The over 1,200 students who filled up all eight public charter schools that opened this fall are proof of this demand.

Parents want—and students deserve—a range of public school options to meet their unique needs. We need to find a way to make this vision a reality. WA Charters will continue to work to ensure all students in Washington state have this option. We are in this for kids and families.

Join us in calling on Gov. Jay Inslee to hold a special session to immediately to address the law. We owe it to these 1,200 students.